Rice Krispies No Health Food, Much Less Medicine Magic

5 11 2009

And that goes for Cocoa Krispies too, no matter what outrageous corporate “colors” the First Amendment might hold its nose and permit to be inflicted upon our evermore-poorly educated populace.

Rice Krispies Are No Substitute For Swine Flu Vaccine:

Cereal giant Kellogg said it’s dropping the eyebrow-raising claim that a box of Rice Krispies or Cocoa Krispies, “Now helps support your child’s IMMUNITY.”

. . .health guru Marion Nestle of New York University: “Yes, these nutrients are involved in immunity, but I can’t think of a nutrient that isn’t involved in the immune system,” she told USA Today. “. . . it’s cases like this that prove ‘in the absence of FDA action, food marketing is allowed to run rampant.’

ricekrispies immunity package claim - Paul Sancya of AP

Over the years, food makers complained that if supplements could use such claims, they could too. At first, the FDA issued warning letters to food companies using structure-function claims. It stopped after the courts ruled that food companies could make claims for the health benefits of their products on First Amendment grounds.

Now FDA says structure-function claims are OK to use as long as they are truthful and not misleading. Misleading, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

Yeah, that’s the GOP-protected American corporate culture, all right, though I might have said running ROUGHSHOD, right over you and me and our families, health, knowledge and prosperity.

Nestle’s Food Politics Lesson of the Day: “In the absence of FDA action, food marketing is allowed to run rampant, and city and state attorneys are doing the FDA’s job. Good for them.

And let’s hear cheers for the power of the press.”

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14 responses

5 11 2009
Nance Confer

Heck, Rice Krispies aren’t even a substitute for breakfast, let alone a flu vaccine.

Nance

5 11 2009
JJ

😀

6 11 2009
Crimson Wife

What ever happened to the old saying “Caveat emptor”? If people are gullible enough to believe that Cocoa Krispies is healthy, why is it big Nanny Government’s job to step in an protect them from their own stupidity?

I’ve got friends who are all up in arms about California’s attempt to ban the sale of raw milk. I don’t drink raw milk and wouldn’t give it to my kids. But if someone wishes to ignore all the warnings (there’s a huge sign posted in the raw milk section of our local Whole Foods) then that’s his/her own business not mine or the state government’s.

6 11 2009
Nance Confer

What industry doesn’t have some sort of “truth-in-advertising” standard? And who is going to enforce that standard if not the legal system?

I think that’s different from disallowing the sale of a product if it hasn’t met certain industry standards.

But we wouldn’t want unsafe toys, for instance, to be advertised and sold, would we? Or cars? Etc.

I suppose we have all those things but we try to limit the number of lies allowed. Except in politics. 🙂

Nance

6 11 2009
JJ

I am amazed that as the monopoly health insurance industry tries to outdo Wall Street to complete the collapse of our free enterprise system and scrape up what’s left of the loose change since the conglomerates went overseas to unregulated exploitation of (so far still) greener pastures and before the Americans still working and earning all declare bankruptcy — if we live long enough to file — that ANYONE would have the nerve to trot out caveat emptor with a straight face. Really CW, what planet do you live on?

6 11 2009
Crimson Wife

I live on the planet of valuing personal responsibility and liberty. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to try to save people from themselves. If folks wind up bankrupt or suffering some other sort of negative consequencs because of their own poor decisions, I don’t feel particularly sorry for them. You make your bed, you lie in it; hopefully you’ll learn to make better decisions in the future but if nothing else, you’ll serve as a deterrent to others.

The absolute worst thing to do is the kind of bailout we saw in the savings & loan industry in the 1980’s and the big financial services firms last year. That just encourages the kind of speculation that got the companies into the mess in the first place. We the taxpayers are the “enablers” when we should be giving “tough love” (to use the lingo of substance abuse).

6 11 2009
JJ

Civil War in Corporate America:

The move is so radical that it has split corporate America. The bankers and members of Congress who support it have earned themselves an unlikely enemy: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

A typical business or investor, after all, prefers honest, independent accounting, because they buy and sell real things based on real value.

“Washington isn’t thinking straight,” said Josh Rosner, managing director of Graham, Fischer & Co, a New York-based financial analyst who advises regulators and institutional investors. “Financial statements are for the benefit of investors.”

Indeed, allowing banks to alter accounting standards when they run into trouble is incentive to take more risk and, in essence, institutionalizes fraud. The regulators would now be under enormous political pressure — and sometimes under direct orders — to allow banks to remain in business long after they’ve become insolvent, in the hopes that things will turn around and they’ll grow again.

And rather than stabilize the system, removing accounting independence destabilizes it in the long run, as investors and other banks have little confidence in the veracity of financial statements.

6 11 2009
sam

CW, what about laws requiring people to not use lead based paint on products? What’s your opinion about Ralph Nader alerting the public to dangerous auto design issues? These are just two areas where the “nanny state” stepped in and saved lives as well as helped children not lose brain function? Should we all have learned these lessons the hard way, or was this okay for the “nanny state?”

From CW’s comment I have to assume she feels it’s okay for food producers to lie to people, and I can’t imagine anyone would take that stand. What we see with this Rice Krispies issue is really a bunch of silliness, and most people, I should hope, would not be so gullible as to believe what’s on the package. But there are people who perhaps don’t know better or who are trusting of a company that one would think has their customer’s best interest in mind when producing a foodstuff.

6 11 2009
JJ

I think the whole “public-private” divide has gotten wa-aa-y beyond any possible anchoring in reality. It is the corporation that is a legal fiction and not a real person and doesn”t have civil rights, not ME. Nor my daughter, son, husband, mom. Why should private people be at the mercy of a publicly traded corporation and have to fend for ourselves individually or suffer, while “it” has all the power, money, access to the political process, and none of the real-world responsibility for the harm it wreaks ??

I just can’t imagine the “moral” argument that would actively legislate with public penalties against my daughter making her own childbearing decisions and Sam making his own life partner decisions, etc, yet insist that no regulation of any kind should apply to the corporation being as amoral and harmful to humans as it pleases.

7 11 2009
COD

caveat emptor’s only hope of working is to exist in a system where all participants in the market have equal access to information. Such a system has never existed in human history, except maybe in the dreams of libertarians.

7 11 2009
JJ

It sounds very “let em eat cake” — if they object to cats and rats, horsemeat and heart attacks on a plate, Soylent Green!

Hmmm, now that I think back, what set off Cat in our earlier discussion of logical fallacies in public communications, was when I suggested that conspiring to lie to “the people” for private profit was criminal.

Maybe we’re onto something important to tease out here, something that explains worldview clash on a lot of other intractable issues when the real problem is not having worked out what is more American, being productive or destructive?

8 11 2009
Crimson Wife

Lead-based paint and leaded gasoline are problematic because they cause cross-contamination, akin to secondhand smoke from cigarettes. If you want to kill yourself by smoking I don’t think it’s the government’s business to stop you. But it is the government’s place to keep you from harming me and my family with your smoking.

8 11 2009
JJ

By that logic it would be the people’s business to stop you killing anyone with anything else too — and to punish you if you do, as the district attorney does to murderers and manslaughterers — and not just with lead paint or tobacco or guns and bullets but all poisons, toxins and carcinogens, known communicable diseases like HIV, exploding auto engines, flammable pjs, sloppy contracting, pyramid schemes, con games, cult preaching and cancelled health insurance.

21 11 2009
JJ

Maybe even breakfast cereal that talks you out of getting your kids flu shots.

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