HomeConsum-actorsKellogg's, misleading nutrition claims and the UK legal battle

Kellogg's, misleading nutrition claims and the UK legal battle

Kellogg's exploits misleading nutrition claims - referring to milk added to its products, rather than just the latter - to announce a legal battle in the UK.

A battle against it Health and Care Bill that - in introducing some restrictions to the marketing junk food (1) - would discriminate against ultra-processed foods.

The bold theorem of Big Food however, it encounters resistance from civil society which has been fighting for decades for the adoption of nutritional policies suitable for public health objectives.

1) Introduction. Big Foodjunk food e viral deception

The giants supranationals of Big Food they are masters in lobby - in contrast to nutritional and public health policies - and in the corruption of the scientific community, as we have seen (2,3). But that is not all.

1.1) Misleading nutrition claims

Nutritional declarations some CD breakfast cereals, like those of Nesquik and similar products, are systematically distorted in the Old Continent with two tricks:

- canary portions. As seen in our 'stuffed cereals' market investigation, (4) Big Food refers the values ​​per portion to minimum quantities of high energy density products that cannot be dosed exactly (such as rusks, for example),

- outlawed nutrition claims, since they are not provided for by reg. UE 1169/11, where the values ​​refer to mix of a portion (from canary) of the product with a glass of cow's milk. With the paradox of boasting the virtues of the latter (see eg Nesquik Opti-Start in note 5).

1.2) Nutritional profiles e viral deception

Le lobby di Big Food have hindered the definition of nutritional profiles, which the European Commission should have established by 19.1.09 for the express purpose of prohibiting health claim and drastically limit i nutrition claim on 'canary portions' and are used on junk food, aka HFSS (High in Fats, Sugar and Sodium).

Ultraprocessed foods with insulin nutritional profiles - in addition to representing most of the offer addressed to children and adolescents (6,7) - often so they even boast nutritional and health benefits (linked to synthetic vitamins and added minerals) that the European legislator had decided to ban more than 13 years ago (EC regulation 1924/06, article 4).

2) Kellogg's, viral deception and legal battle in the UK

Il leader planetarium in the category of breakfast cereals, Kellogg's, stars in the viral deception which it achieves through both misleading and outlawed nutrition claims - based on the mix of canary portions of its products with the 'classic' glass of milk - either through nutrition & health claims on ultraprocessed HFSS foods.

2.1) Unlawfulness with impunity

No authority control has never dared to sanction Kellogg's (neither Nestlé nor others), as far as we know, in relation to nutrition claims that include a product - milk - not contained in the sales unit. As it is, however, a duty, even more so when we consider that:

- the design of the products in question, unlike classic breakfast cereals (e.g. muesli) is increasingly oriented towards dry consumption, such as snack desserts,

- milk is increasingly being replaced with alternative vegetable drinks with the most diverse nutritional profiles. (8)

2.2) Legal battle against the Health and Care Bill

the 27.4.22 Kellogg's, a few days before the final approval of the Health and Care Bill in England, it announced a legal battle against its enforcement. Stating that the nutritional profile of the breakfast cereals is calculated incorrectly.

In beard to the criteria consolidated in the last three decades in every corner of the planet, the nutritional profiling of Kellogg's products should consider that - to say the Corporation - '92% of people eat cereals with milk or yogurt, which changes the nutritional profile'.

Kellogg's products they should therefore be excluded from the restrictions on marketing provided for by Health and Care Bill, as their 'dilution' in milk - or in yogurt, whose nutritional profile is in turn different and variable (9) - would restore their balance.

2.3) Reactions of stakeholders

Obesity Health Alliance, via Caroline Cerny, commented on Kellogg's statements like 'a blatant attempt by a food multinational to escape vital new regulations. It's shocking that a company like Kellogg's is suing the government over its plans to help people be healthier, rather than investing in removing sugar from their grains.. ' (10)

Il Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), through a spokesperson interviewed by The Guardian, in turn highlighted that:

- 'breakfast cereals contribute 7%, a significant amount, to children's average daily intakes of free sugars,

- limiting the promotion and advertising of less healthy foods is an important part of the intergovernmental strategy to halve childhood obesity by 2030, prevent harmful diseases and improve healthy life expectancy'. (10)

3) Kellogg's, the nutritional profiles

Action on Sugar e Action on Salt - through the voice of its director, nutritionist Katharine Jenner - offered MailOnline the most frank news, which goes beyond any dialectic. 'Crunchy Nut cornflakes still have two and a half teaspoons of sugar per serving, whether you add milk or not'. (11)

When it is too much, it's too much. MailOnline analyzed the nutritional profiles of 36 Kellogg's cereals available in UK supermarkets, referring to the portions and values ​​indicated on their respective labels. With results that should make parents and consumers think about it all over Europe. (11)

3.1) Added sugars

Sugars added and free (free sugars), according to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2022) must be reduced to the minimum possible, since their consumption is correlated with greater risks of obesity, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, excess 'bad' cholesterol (LDL), hypertension. (12)

One portion only of Crunchy Nut Kellogg's in the variant with chocolate, reports MailOnline, contains 14 g. Following are the versions of honeycomb chocolate granola (12 g), fruit and nut granola (12 g) and cluster of honey and nuts (12g). So much more than an original glazed Krispy Kreme donut (12,6 g).

3.2) Kcal and too much salt

Kellogg's Crunchy Nut they all exceed even in energy value, with 230 kcal for a portion of caramelized granola, 224 kcal for the 'walnut and chocolate' version, 217 kal for honeycomb chocolate. Values ​​close to those of a Mars bar (228 kcal), which exceed 10% of the average daily requirement of an adult.

Salt hidden in the ultra-processed 'cereals' Kellogg's reaches 7% of the recommended daily allowance for an adult in the UK (6 g / day, already above the WHO threshold of 4-5 g / day).

More salt of a packet of Walkers Ready Salted Crisps (0,34g) is found in Crunchy Nut Honey and Nuts (0,43g), Fruit and Fiber (0,4g), All-Bran (0,38g), Crunchy Nut Chocolate (0,37 , 0.37g) and All Bran golden crunch (XNUMXg).

4) Provisional conclusions

Allergens are another critical aspect of Kellogg's that - in contempt of the reg. UE 1169/11 and the sacrosanct right to information of vulnerable consumers (13) - indicates thepossible presence' from 'gluten from other cereals'rather than indefinite'nuts'.

Be protagonists of a public health problem, or its solution, is a question of ethics and responsibility. And it is the responsibility of the control authorities to ensure compliance with the mandatory rules of the first manufacturer of breakfast cereals.

#AdEnough!

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Marta Strinati. England, stop advertising junk food thanks to the Health and Care Bill. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 2.5.22, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/inghilterra-stop-alla-pubblicità-di-cibo-spazzatura-grazie-allo-health-and-care-bill

(2) Marta Strinati, Dario Dongo. Nutrition and health, this is how Big Food stands in the way of the WHO. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade) 3.9.20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/nutrizione-e-salute-ecco-come-big-food-ostacola-l-oms 

(3) Marta Strinati. Nutritional research deflected by Big Food lobbies. New study. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 27.1.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/ricerca-nutrizionale-deviata-dalle-lobby-di-big-food-nuovo-studio

(4) Marta Strinati. Corn flakes and stuffed cereals, 24 in comparison. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 22.1.22, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/corn-flakes-e-cereali-ripieni-24-a-confronto

(5) Dario Dongo. Nutritional profiles, 10 years in hiding in Brussels. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 19.1.19, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/profili-nutrizionali-10-anni-di-latitanza-a-bruxelles

(6) Dario Dongo. Baby food, 68% is junk food. European research. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 30.10.19,
https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/alimenti-per-bambini-il-68-è-junk-food-ricerca-europea

(7) Marta Strinati. From Nestlé to Ferrero. Almost all baby food is harmful. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 3.9.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/da-nestlé-a-ferrero-quasi-tutti-gli-alimenti-per-bambini-sono-nocivi_1

(8) Marta Strinati. Vegetable drinks, 330 products compared with milk. Scientific study. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 5.6.20, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/bevande-vegetali-330-prodotti-a-raffronto-con-il-latte-studio-scientifico

(9) Marta Strinati. Frùttolo and other milk snacks, 10 products compared. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 25.9.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/consum-attori/fruttolo-e-altre-merende-al-latte-10-prodotti-a-confronto

(10) Mark Sweney. Kellogg's to challenge new UK rules for high-sugar cereals in court. The Guardian. 27.4.22, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/27/kelloggs-court-challenge-new-uk-rules-high-sugar-cereals

(11) Emily Craig. More sugar than a DOUGHNUT, saltier than a pack of crisps and just as many calories as a Mars bar: How Kellogg's cereals REALLY fare nutritionally as food giant takes ministers to court over junk food ruling. The Daily Mail. 27.4.22, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-10758869/How-Kelloggs-cereals-REALLY-fare-nutritionally-food-giant-takes-ministers-court.html

(12) Marta Strinati. The harmful role of sugars in the diet, EFSA opinion. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 1.3.22, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/il-ruolo-nocivo-degli-zuccheri-nella-dieta-parere-efsa

(13) Dario Dongo. May contain allergens, ABC. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 24.6.18, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/salute/può-contenere-allergeni-abc

+ posts

Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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