Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kellogg's and Nutrition (Continued)

(Third of four parts)

After speaking with Rick, I noticed that Corn Pops contained only one type of grain—corn—which led to my second call, asking if all of the three cereals qualified for the Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Program.

Veronica (yes, the same Veronica who fielded my call about Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tarts in January) assertively stated that the reason the three cereals qualified had nothing to do with increased grain levels, as Rick had confidently declared. Instead, the cereals qualified because their amounts of sugar, fat and calories fell below Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

According to Veronica, under a new F.D.A. policy instituted in June 2008, “foods had to have less than the threshold levels of sugar to be able to be advertised to kids.”

Kellogg’s, Veronica said, “reformulated their products to be able to advertise to kids.”

Despite my protestations about the incompatibility between her answer and Rick’s, Veronica was adamant about the veracity of her response.

About an hour later, as I was looking at my notes, I realized a major disconnect existed between my question to Veronica and her answer. I had asked about a U.S.D.A. program; Veronica’s answer revolved around the F.D.A. The U.S.D.A. and F.D.A. are separate governmental organizations with distinct infrastructures and responsibilities.

(Tomorrow: A third call and resolution)

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