Federal Trade Commission Stops Kellogg from Claiming Frosted Mini-Wheats “Improve Kids’ Attentiveness” in School


Statement of CSPI Legal Affairs Director Bruce Silverglade

April 20, 2009

The astonishing claims made by Kellogg that its Frosted Mini-Wheats improved children's attentiveness by 20 percent were laughable on their face and never should have surfaced in an advertising campaign by a major food manufacturer.

The settlement announced today by the Federal Trade Commission is a strong sign the false advertising cop is back on the beat, and the agency will no longer tolerate misleading health claims. We hope this is the just the beginning of a coordinated new effort to rein in dishonest advertising and marketing by food companies. The FTC could require much stronger remedies, such as corrective advertising. In addition, Congress should expand the FTC’s authority to level civil penalties.

Incidentally, if Kellogg sincerely wanted to improve children's attentiveness, it would phase out the use of Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 40, and any other synthetic food dyes that show up in some varieties of Mini-Wheats. Those dyes exacerbate some children's hyperactivity and behavioral problems, and have no place in foods aimed squarely at children.

 

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