Kellogg, the nation's largest cereal maker, is being called to task by critics who object to the swine flu-conscious claim now bannered in bold lettering on the front of Cocoa Krispies cereal boxes: "Now helps support your child's IMMUNITY."
Of all claims on cereal boxes, "this one belongs in the hall of fame," says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. "By their logic, you can spray vitamins on a pile of leaves, and it will boost immunity."
As the H1N1 virus worries parents and threatens children, the claim of supporting immunity is compelling to many. But it comes at a time foodmakers are being held more accountable for claims. The industry's self-created "Smart Choices" nutrition-labeling program was voluntarily halted recently after federal regulators expressed concern that such programs may be misleading.