Kelloggs Responded - Mission Accomplished or Not?

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 7:13am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pHi Everyone/p
pI just wanted to let you know that we DID receive a response from Kelloggs yesterday, but it wasn't exactly what we were hoping for. It seemed to add more confusion to the issue - we was hoping they would exactly spell out their labeling policies and provide a list of safe cereals. Here is the response:/p
p~~~~~~~~/p
pThank 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./p
pSince 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. /p
pWe hope that this clarifies our position for the benefit of your members and appreciate your sharing this information with them./p
pThank you.br /
Donna Thede, M.S.R.D.br /
Sr. Manager, Consumer Affairsbr /
Kellogg Company /p
p~~~~~~~~~/p
pAlso, they sent this E-mail to Chris:/p
p~~~~~~~~~/p
pThis is to advise you that we have posted to your Discussion Board a reply tobr /
the concerns brought to our attention by your membership regarding the labelingbr /
of our products for potentially allergenic ingredients./p
pWe ask that you remove from your web site the statements encouraging members tobr /
contact us through your E-mail campaign and let our Discussion Board reply servebr /
as our response to these concerns./p
pThank you.br /
Donna Thede, M.S.R.D.br /
Sr. Manager, Consumer Affairsbr /
Kellogg Company /p
p~~~~~~~/p
pWhat does everyone think of this? Personally I feel Kelloggs could have been more specific and forthcoming - especially since we asked about the coded labeling. Does this mean they don't use the codes anymore - anywhere?/p
pChris is currently working on an E-mail response to them, which he will post on the board. Your thoughts on this response and what we should do now are appreciated!/p
pAlso, here is a direct link to the Kelloggs E-mail Campaign page for further information: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001434.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/001434.html[/url] /p
p[This message has been edited by Cayley's Mom (edited March 30, 2001).]/p

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 7:41am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

This afternoon I received the same canned response about the ingredients listed in the box, blah, blah, blah. I replied to them by asking them to clarify their codes, and to use plain English (of course I was much more subtle than that [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]) to clarify which products were made on dedicated lines, etc. We'll see what happens next.
Well, they certainly are noticing us, eh? Let's hope they actually give a more meaningful response next time.
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 9:45am
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

I think the campaign succeeded on 2 fronts:
1. We got Kelloggs to come on the boards and post (however dismal the content of their response).
2. PA.com members joined forces towards a common action goal and made something happen.
Personally, I think Kelloggs-USA's reply stinks. That was a form letter response saved on someone's word processor with a slight wording change to address PA.com.
The email to Chris is a "make your members stop pestering us" message.
What a disappointment.
Kelloggs-Canada did send me a list of all their tree-nut free and peanut-free products.
I am still awaiting a response to my email to Kelloggs-USA.

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 10:23am
PattyR's picture
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Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

I too received this unsatifactory response from Kellogg. I do not think that they answered our questions clearly. They make no mention of the risk of cross contamination. If they are so clear in their labeling, then why these codes? They have noticed us that is for sure. Now what?

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 10:40am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I am very disappointed with the lip service I think we have received and the definite cold shoulder from this company. Sure we got them to post - but I felt their email to Chris was rude and contrary to good public relations.
Now to further muddy the waters I read in the paper today "Kellogg closing Keebler plant, ..." this plant "produced Vista Saltine crackers, Cheez-It snack crackers, Pecan Shortbread Sandies cookies and Nutrigrain bars."
The article mentioned that all the products produced in the Denver facility can and will be made elsewhere (I assume in another current facility).
As I understand it Nutrigrain bars have always been considered a "safe" product for PA/NA children. It they are being produced in a plant that produced pecan cookies - are they really safe? I have checked my boxes of bars and none of them are labeled for nuts or peanuts.
The other issue I have is Kellogg's indicated that all of their products are labeled for allergens. Now recently someone posted that Pop Tarts are not safe and may be subject to cross contamination. They are NOT labeled for peanuts or nuts either.
I think Kellogg's labels for all intended ingredients and warns of allergens therein. What they don't seem to be doing is labeling for cross contamination. We also have gotten wrong information that Nutrigrain bars are made in a nut free facility as evidenced above.
Any further thoughts? I just don't feel we should leave the Kellogg's campaign just yet. There are too many unanswered questions and loose ends that need tying up.

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 10:40am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

I think we need to keep the momentum going since the reply did not address our concerns adequately although I am delighted they responsed to us individually and posted on the board.
I agree with you Cayley's mom that the first venture into a coordinated email enterprise (P&G) may have led us to believe everyone else would willingly reply in detail. I have a feeling that the Kellogg's reply is closer to what we should expect from the majority of companies.
However, I consider this a tremendous start, it's just that it going to take more than one letter/email to achieve our goals-we need to have stamina (which parents of pa-kids need to have in abundance!)
I am going to reply to my own reponse from Kellogg's to say I am still confused and need everything spelled out from me in plain English. It is clear than companies do not like to have their e-mail systems jammed with questions on the same subject-this seems a very effective approach to get their attention. We should continue to email.
I will be very interested to see whether Chris gets a more satisfactory response his letter.
Great start!
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited March 30, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited March 30, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 11:58am
PAGirl's picture
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Joined: 08/14/2000 - 09:00

What's wrong with this response? It sounds fine to me. They answered your question didn't they? They clearly said that they do not use codes anymore. I have found Kellogs to be very helpful. If you still aren't satisfied, then you could call them yourself and ask. Oh, and one more thing: they didn't need to give you a list of safe cereals - all you have to do is read the labels!
[This message has been edited by PAGirl (edited March 30, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 10:42pm
PeanutTrace's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2001 - 09:00

I can see you're angry PAGirl! Did I miss something? Where did they clearly say that they don't use codes anymore?

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 11:11pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

PAGirl - I don't want to cause conflict here, but because the purpose of this campaign is to provide better labeling, I feel I must explain point by point how Kelloggs missed the mark, and how their response isn't as clear for others as it is for you.
(1) YES! They print allergen information on the label - great! That's a great big step in the right direction and kudos to them!
(2) NO! They don't provide easy to read information about cross-contamination - this is where the codes come into play.
Here is a study done on cross-contamination:
18.2% (4 of 22) "may contain peanut" contained traces of peanut
12.5% (2 of 16) "manufacturer on shared equipment" contained traces of peanut
12.5% (1 of 8) "manufacturer in a facility that also processes peanut" contained traces of peanut
20.8% (5 of 24) where peanut was listed at the end of the ingredients list contained traces of peanuts
If you are saying you are completely comfortable consuming a product without knowing whether or not it is manufactured on the same line as a peanut product - unless you can decipher the code KL or whatever - that's fine! That's your "comfort zone".
However, it is obviously not the same comfort zone for many of the PA parents and people on this site, or there wouldn't have been such a great response to this E-mail Campaign.
There is an approximately 20% chance that children with PA who have not suffered an anaphlyactic reaction will actually outgrow PA! Here is a link to a thread on that study: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000052.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000052.html[/url] BUT, the child must NEVER be exposed to even a trace of peanut protein in order for this to happen. Don't you think the parents of PA children on this site deserve to make the choice of whether or not to buy a cereal based on the chances of cross-contamination, not *just* allergen ingredients?
Wouldn't it be a whole lot simpler if Kelloggs labeled either "Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts" OR "Manufactured in a peanut-free plant" instead of using the KL codes?
It's hard to remember the codes, let alone try to find them when shopping with small children.
This is how Kelloggs fell short in their response. Do you understand now? We want ALL the information in plain english. Yes, they are helpful, but PA people who do not call or visit this site DO NOT KNOW the percentages of possible cross-contamination in Kelloggs USA products.
I hope you now understand where we are coming from with this campaign, and why Kelloggs cereal does not fall within everyone's "comfort zone".
[This message has been edited by Cayley's Mom (edited March 31, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 03/30/2001 - 11:58pm
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

PAGirl - I admire Cayley's Mom's patient and detailed reply to you...again. Allow me not to be so patient:
PAGirl - your admiration and fondness for Kelloggs has been duly noted. Perhaps you should step off your high horse about this now and stop misaligning this campaign because of some ill-informed opinions on your part.
"Read the labels" you bluntly post, but may I suggest you "re-read" Kelloggs' response. They do NOT clearly say anything about their coding! They have also circumvented any mention of cross-contamination issues. BTW, some of us did call to get the informaion directly...
If Kelloggs is such a great company in regards to allergies, as you seem to feel, why the meager form-letter response, and the message to Chris asking that we cease and desist?
They have better things to do than address consumer concerns?

Posted on: Sat, 03/31/2001 - 2:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I also am very disappointed by Kelllog's response. It hurts me to know that they want us to stop 'pestering' them.
They sent me an email telling me that they take allergies very seriously and that I should call their company to discuss my questions with them.
I plan on calling them this week to see what kind of answer I get from their customer service rep. even though I am sure it will be different then what everyone else has heard.
I'll let you know what they say.

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