Your Health

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." (The caps are Kellogg's.)

Rice Krispies boxes in grocery store. i

Immunity-boosting cereal? Not anymore. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Sancya/AP
Rice Krispies boxes in grocery store.

Immunity-boosting cereal? Not anymore.

Paul Sancya/AP

Blame the swine flu. Kellogg's said Wednesday it is discontinuing the IMMUNITY claim, "given the public attention on H1N1."

The decision also follows a pullback by a controversial industry-sponsored program that put "Smart Choices" labels on the front of packages of processed foods, including some of Kellogg's. Only days before that change, the Food and Drug Administration raised concerns those labels could mislead consumers.

The immunity claim for the two varieties of Krispies drew a lot of fire. The San Francisco city attorney challenged Kellogg last week to prove its claim, USA Today reported.

Though conceding, Kellogg didn't admit complete defeat. The company stands by its claim that the amount of vitamins A, B, C and E found in the cereal are proven by "science" to help support the immune system.

But health guru Marion Nestle of New York University says that's hooey. "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.

On her blog, Nestle called Kellogg's rowback "wise," but noted that it's cases like this that prove "in the absence of FDA action, food marketing is allowed to run rampant."

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