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Kellogg\'s Email Campaign - Join Us

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By EILEEN on Fri, 03-30-01, 01:22

This thread was started by "Cayley's mom" in the Main Discussion Board and what follows is "Cayley's Mom's" first post setting off this campaign.

*DISCLAIMER* A few people have expressed concern that we are unfairly "targeting" Kelloggs, which is already an allergy-aware company. We are simply asking this great company to post here at PeanutAllergy.com - it is NOT an attack campaign in ANY way! Thanks to everyone for your input and help!
Help make a difference! We are encouraging everyone to contact Kellogg

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By Diane on Wed, 04-04-01, 14:47

Here's the response I got from Kellogs:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: [email]kelloggsus@speedymail.com[/email] Save Address
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Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 14:46:10 -0400
To: [email]jamamama@ivillage.com[/email]
Subject: Contact Us Feedback - Kellogg Consumer Affairs [T2001032600G9]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for giving Kellogg Company an opportunity to respond to your concerns
about the way we label our products for peanuts and other potentially allergenic
ingredients. We share your concerns and have worked diligently to provide clear
information on our package labels so that consumers understand what ingredients
are contained in our products.

Since January of 1999, all Kellogg USA cereals and convenience foods packages
have labeled potentially allergenic ingredients in a separate box directly below
the ingredient list on the Nutrition Facts side panel of each of our products.
Because product formulations can change at any time, we encourage our consumers
to check the ingredient statement on each package they purchase for the most
up-to-date information on the ingredients contained in that product.

We hope that this clarifies our position and appreciate your continued patronage
of our brands.

Kellogg Company
Consumer Affairs

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Thu, 04-05-01, 17:08

There are many other threads on this Kelloggs email and contact campaign such as on the Main Discussion Board. After you read this entire post, you could do a search by using the "search" feature on these boards to locate other threads and more information about what is going on in regards to this campaign etc. I have also requested at the end of this post that those members working on this issue add links to the threads they want you to see on this Kellogg's issue.

Here is the text from the email we just received today from Kelloggs which is in response to PeanutAllergy.Com member's requests for more precise ingredients labels on Kelloggs products. I have to admit this latest email response from Kelloggs is well written and may work to satisfy those not aware of the problems with their current labeling practices. For those who have not been with us and following the problems with labeling in the United States, I want you to know that we have been working on labeling problems for many years and often receive responses from manufacturers that appear, to an untrained reader, to be a satisfactory response. The manufacturers often employ lawyers and other professionals to respond to consumers requests and the responses are often very well written, although they may dance around an issue and never really address the topic.

While we appreciate the effort some manufacturers, such as Kelloggs, have taken so far and we express our gratitude for working with us and others to make our lives safer, we do however need more from many manufacturers if we desire a better and safer quality of life.
>>>

Chris:

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. As promised, I am sending
along a message that affirms our position as I related it to you this morning.
Thank you for sharing this information with your membership.

We certainly understand and share the concerns expressed by your membership.
Kellogg Company has been one of the leaders in the food industry in devising
manufacturing processes to reduce the risk of peanuts and other allergens from
contaminating allergen-free products. We have worked extensively with allergy
organizations and research groups so that we understand the seriousness and
complexities of peanut and other allergies.

We regret that our Consumer Affairs group may have been the source of confusing
information regarding the date labeling and lettered plant codes provided on
each of our products. While the specific information given to the consumer was
correct at the time it was given, it was never our intent to use the letters to
communicate that a product was produced in a ?peanut free? plant. Products can
be moved to alternate production facilities to meet our sales demand.
Therefore, we do not recommend that your members use these letters as a guide.

Finally, we believe that our present allergen labeling process provides the
best, most accurate information currently available for our consumers. It
offers consumers the ability to see, at the time of purchase or consumption,
whether or not an allergenic ingredient is present in the product.

Having said this, you should know that we have a multi-functional Allergy Task
Force that is actively reviewing our labeling process in light of the many new
products that have been added to the KELLOGG?S

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By Cayley's Mom on Thu, 04-05-01, 18:03

Chris - thank you so much for getting to the bottom of this issue. Here are my thoughts to your above question - just my personal opinion.

We got what we wanted, somewhat. We now know their exact labeling procedure:

(1) They DO NOT label for cross-contamination. No "may contain" labels.

(2) They DO use plain english allergy labeling for their products, excluding items containing "traces of...".

(3) Their position is "We will consult our experts and get back to you". Whatever, but at least they know we're watching them.

(4) My comfort zone has changed on Kelloggs USA products - I reserve judgement on Kelloggs Canada until I speak with them about this specific issue (currently waiting for a phone call back from them).

(5) I feel we should call this mission accomplished and a partial success. With the new FDA report and us breathing down their neck - something's gotta give, and soon. What a downer that Kelloggs isn't the paragon of virtue that most of us thought, but I'm willing to give them the few months they asked for to research this issue further.

(6) One of our members is currently finalizing a media campaign - I'll leave it to her to give everyone details, but we can certainly include our experiences with Kelloggs USA while addressing the media. Actually, when I say "us" I really mean Americans - the media campaign will use the momentum of the latest FDA findings, and the FDA has no jurisdiction in Canada. Just my thoughts here, but I think media campaigns are one thing that should be country specific, due to completely different legislative approaches to manufacturing.

**At least, now we know EXACTLY what their position is.**

While it isn't a positive outcome for us, it is a good outcome nonetheless. Everyone else's thoughts on this, please? I would like to write an unbiased (OK, I'm somewhat biased, but I will only write the facts) summary of this issue for all PA.com members to read, so that they may make their own judgements on the safety of Kelloggs products. Everyone?

[This message has been edited by Cayley's Mom (edited April 05, 2001).]

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By Cayley's Mom on Thu, 04-05-01, 18:17

I would just like to add that we do have other manufacturers to contact. While we didn't get everything we needed from Kelloggs, other companies need to know we're out there, and waiting for definitive answers. I feel we've used up our clout with Kelloggs, for the moment, but I'm very keen to do a follow-up on them in 2 or 3 months to see which, if any, changes are taking place as a result of either our campaign or the FDA report.

Anyone else feel this way? Not letting go for good, just for the moment.

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By arachide on Thu, 04-05-01, 19:46

"...it was never our intent to use the letters to communicate that a product was produced in a <> plant."!!!!!

Wow...this statement blew me away! Only when they're called to the table do they finally admit that? How does everyone here feel hearing this after years of being told about using the K codes to find the pn-free plants?!!! X(

It's also very telling that Chris was contacted by a lower ranking Kellogg employee as opposed to someone in senior management.

I think our next step should either be:

1. a media campaign calling attention to Kellogg's position of " [our] present allergen labeling process provides the best, most accurate information currently available for our consumers" - NOT!

2. a new campaign toward a new company on the list

[This message has been edited by arachide (edited April 05, 2001).]

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By Going Nuts on Thu, 04-05-01, 20:12

I'd like to give them 3-4 months, then issue a follow-up message. And I am definitely all for a media campaign, maybe something to dovetail with Allergy Awareness Week (5/6-12, I think).

Amy

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By Sue on Thu, 04-05-01, 21:30

At this point - using the information we received from Kelloggs, I will no longer purchase products manufactured by Kelloggs.

Their final answer was not and is not in my "comfort zone" when it comes to the life of my child.

I will not buy anymore of their products until they feel a life is worth more than the trouble it takes to print an accurate food label.

I suggest we take a survey (by posting on the board) of how many customers they will lose until they inform us that they changed and improved their food labels.

It is commendable what you all have done with this Kelloggs campaign. Thank you to my peanutallergy.com "family".

The very conservative and approximate number of customers they will lose on a daily bases from our:

family - 4
friends - 15
relatives - 40
school classroom - 22
Pre-school - 26
church - 20
T-ball - 10
soccer - 10

I know this list could be bigger, but my point is that they are dealing with a far reaching group of people. They, also, should realize that the schools and sports events have snacks every day and or every game - so this is not one family giving up Frosted Flakes is is a "whole village"

One last question on this post: Would it be worth our time to contact the stockholders relation people to let them know that Kelloggs has a serious and life threatening problem with the labeling?

OK, I really hope I didn't upset anyone - my idea here is only to try to provide Kelloggs with a picture of how their profit could get hit if all of us PA families and friends stop buying Kelloggs.

Thanks for all the great advice and help!

Sue in Sunny Arizona

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By DMB on Thu, 04-05-01, 22:09

I am really disappointed in what started out to be a positive campaign turned into this. I have never been an activist or an extremist, but I do not plan to buy anymore Kellogg's products. Until they can change their policies in such a way that I would again feel comfortable feeding their food to my pa son, I will be taking a little vacation from Kellogg's.

I think this campaign showed that we do have a louder voice when we all "yell" together. We did get a response from Kellogg's--even if it's not what we expected or wanted to hear. I also think we should check up on them in a couple of months . . . just so they know that we haven't forgotten about this! Deanna

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By SLICE on Thu, 04-05-01, 22:31

You can be sure I will not buy any Kellogg's products for my family now that we know they don't put cross-contamination warnings on their packaging. And I will make sure they can't come into my son's classroom, as well. I'd like to at least have that long-shot for my son to outgrow this life-threatening allergy. I know our family and friends will want to support us by not buying Kellogg's products on principle.

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By nonutshere on Thu, 04-05-01, 22:37

The two points I came away with after reading the Kelloggs response is:
1. We CANNOT rely on the KB & KL codes as a guarantee that the product was processed in a pn/tn free plant.
2. Even though they are aware of the concept of cross contamination, they are unable/unwilling to mark possible contaminated products as such at this time.

I definitely think this campaign was a success. Kelloggs posted on our boards and answered our questions:
1. Safe products-If you believe a safe product is one with no risk of cross contamination, there is no Kelloggs product that is safe.
2. Changing their labeling practices-They are currently reviewing their labeling process. They will update us on any changes.

Ok we didn't acheive higher goals such as a promise of pn/tn free plants, or a promise that they will immediately change their labeling to add "may contain" warnings when appropriate. But hopefully we made them think about it, and we definitely voiced our opinion. I agree we should check back in a few months and see if they have made a decision to implement any changes.

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Fri, 04-06-01, 01:37

I was going to add this to my post above because it was brought to my attention this morning by [email]Patti@PeanutAllergy.Com[/email] following my conversation with Kelloggs on the phone.
I decided to wait until tonight to post this as I wanted to see what everyone else thought. Posting different opinions is one way we can all see the different possibilities.

I was thinking, at first when I just got off the phone with Kelloggs, that we should wait and give them some time like they said. It is understandable that it is going to take them time to go through the Keebler line they just acquired. Then to see if their allergy team decided (or convinced management if this is the resistance) to label better.

It was brought to my attention that if we wait until Kelloggs has gone through the entire Keebler line without implementing better labeling on all those products, it may be harder for us to convince them to start labeling better. If we were able to convince them to label better NOW (meaning as soon as possible, we understand these things take time) then they could implement this new policy on not only the Kelloggs products but also all those products they will be going through from the Keebler acquisition. It might be easier for them to address this at the onset rather than having to have the allergy team go back and have to go through everything all over again. Again it seems to me that it would be much harder to convince them to work on all the products all over again.

As far as us losing momentum with Kelloggs, I don't think that is the case. Just think, the only ones involved in this campaign so far are those of us who were on the boards recently (since it was discussed a little while ago) and those who we asked to join in such as friends and family. We didn't even send an email to our email list to let the thousands on our list know we were working on Kelloggs. We obviously got Kelloggs (and other companies) attention and this with only a very small portion of the PeanutAllergy.Com community getting involved. We were actually working on an email to send out to the list about the Kelloggs campaign when we received Kelloggs first phone call so we did not up send it out.

Again I will mention that we as a community should continue to WORK WITH companies (as long as they are willing and working on making their labeling better for us).

A media campaign to bring awareness of the labeling issues is great and we should also continue to push until there is a labeling law which ensures our safety, but we need to be thankful for those manufacturers who are working towards safe products and labels for us.

Kelloggs did seem to know what was in their factories. This I believe is why they were able in the past to give us codes to go by so we could purchase their products we felt were safe. I think all Kelloggs needs to do is label better as they do seem to be allergy aware (of course they would need to work continually to be sure of their suppliers, processes etc).
Sadly, Their labeling is what we need them to work on now.
It is great that they seem to know what is in each of their factories, such as if peanuts were or were not in a certain factory.
I, like many of us, thought Kelloggs was working to do more, not less for us.
With the latest information from Kelloggs it does appear to be a set back for them and us, however if it is true that they know what is in their factories, they are close to being able to label for us and I feel they should do so. I usually do not settle for a representative from a company who is not authorized to make decisions or tell us what they may or may not do in the future. Diane from Kelloggs called us and I wanted to hear what she had to say. Diane seems like a nice person (obviously a professional at what she does).
I usually ask to speak to many different levels of personnel when I am working on their labeling policies.
This is for many reasons, one being that we often receive different answers to our questions, depending on who we speak to. We may get one answer from a customer relations department such as "we are allergy aware blah blah blah"...and then receive a completely different answer from say...a plant manager such as "They told you what? Who in what department said our products were safe for the peanut allergic? I am glad you contacted me, we will need to do a lot of work to know what you just asked me".

This helps us and the company to understand what they need to work on. Most of the companies I have had the pleasure of working on have done a great job of either making safe products for our community or then labeling better to keep our community safe.

I pray this will be the case with Kelloggs. That they will take this opportunity to continue to be the leaders we thought they were.
I of course hope they will work to make us safe products as we really need a major manufacturer in our lives which we can rely on. It would be sad if they decided to just label in such a way that we would not be able to consume their products because that may be easier or more cost effective for them.

Let us know your thoughts. Do you think this latest response from Kelloggs asking us to hang around and wait is just a "brush off" as some have suggested? Do you think it would be better to address their labeling more now?

Post or email your opinions on the next step.

Keep up the good work volunteers!!!

------------------
Stay Safe,

[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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By marina_twinmom on Tue, 01-29-02, 03:18

Let me put it this way (and I do hope that someone from Kelloggs actually reads this thread) ... the only cereals we're buying for our household right now are made by General Mills. We love Kelloggs cereals, but I just don't trust that they're safe unless I call the company and ask each and every time.

I feel fairly confident that General Mills labels all of their products that might be cross-contaminated, so I know just by reading the label whether or not I can buy specific cereals. That's so much easier than calling a company over and over again.

If and when Kelloggs decides to start labeling cereals that may be cross-contaminated with nuts, we will start buying Kelloggs cereals again.

Kelloggs, are you listening? If you change your labeling practices and put some sort of warning on ALL of your products that are made on shared lines with products containing nuts, you will actually get more customers. I know you're thinking that such labeling will scare folks away, but I think it will give us more confidence in your products (so we'll actually buy your products again).

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By Kami's Mom on Tue, 01-29-02, 22:17

I agree with Marina. I refuse to buy any Kellogg's products for the following reasons:

(1) First your customer service dept. tells us to look on the box for codes. Then, months (years?) later you tell us that was incorrect. And according to the Oct/Nov FAAN newsletter (p. 4), you take no responsibility and blame this erroneous information on "recent news reports."

(2) When we call customer service about a particular product, you tell us it is manufactured on shared equipment. But no where on your label is this indicated.

(3) You tell us that any shared equipment is cleaned thoroughly between runs. Well what happened a year and a half ago when you had two major recalls (waffles and Frosted Flakes) for nut contamination. How do we know this won't happen again?

Another thing that bothers me: Why was Kellogg's awarded FAAN's 2001 Muriel C. Furlong Award for "contributions to food allergy awareness programs, education, and advocacy." (June/July 2001, p. 4). One would assume that a recipient of such an award would be a leader in allergen labeling and would not have two major recalls in the course of a year. Hmmmm....

[This message has been edited by Kami's Mom (edited January 29, 2002).]

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By SLICE on Sun, 02-03-02, 21:43

The founder and head of FAAN, Anne Munoz-Furlong,'s daughter has outgrown her allergies, accordingly to a recent FAAN newsletter. Kellogg has contributed money to FAAN. Could this be why FAAN signed off on the food industry's petition to the FDA for voluntary, not mandatory, labeling with no penalties?

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By erik on Sun, 02-03-02, 23:28

Hi everyone,

I think that all these problems are with regards to Kellogg's USA.

I believe that Kellogg's products made in Canada are fine. Kellogg's Canada labels them properly. Someone mentioned there are no peanut warnings on Kellogg's boxes. In Canada, products that may be affected by cross-contamination are labelled.

For example, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes is labelled with "may contain traces of peanuts" (made in London ON by Kellogg's Canada).

So if you are in Canada check the box.. Kellogg's Canada does put peanut warnings on the boxes (unlike Kelloggs USA, from what I am reading in prior posts).

Other Kellogg's Canada products that have a label "may contain peanuts" include "Honey Rice Krispies" and "Cadbury Crunchie". There may be more I think.

So if you are in Canada I think Kellogg's is safe as they are allergy aware...

too bad Kellogg's USA won't label correctly...

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By on Sat, 01-18-03, 01:29

Simply re-raising for Lam. I was fairly sure that there was a Kellogg's Canada thread as well. I'll try to find it amidst the noise and confusion here.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Holly on Fri, 01-31-03, 17:46

My son's last reaction - the day before Christmas, was from touching and empty yogurt nutra-grain bar. He took it out of the trash. We no longer allow our other children or my parents to have Kellogs'
since even the wrappers are contaminated. Of course Kellogs' asked for the box and wrapper to be sent in for testing. And they told me how the lines are washed and they know all about allergies ect.

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By KayMarks on Fri, 01-31-03, 18:10

I'm looking at our cereal- Kellogg's Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, Corn Pops, Mud & Bugs, and Cocoa Krispies. Except for the Cocoa Krispies, the others have a box directly beneath the ingredients that state all the allergens in the cereal and that it "may contain soybean traces". I guess I've always been confused because people say they are not labeling for may contains. My dd has never reacted and she is very sensitive. Could it be only certain areas don't label for these and some do? Should I still not be going by these?? Kelly

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By on Sat, 08-02-03, 22:39

Simply re-raising, for reading purposes only, to compliment the other two threads (at least) running re Kellogg's to-day. I thought this might be helpful in some way. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Mon, 02-14-05, 05:14

Simply re-raising. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Are Americans okay with Kellogg's U.S.?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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