New Media Campaign: Write to NY Times on Kelloggs? Labeling Issues

Posted on: Thu, 04/05/2001 - 10:35am
EILEEN's picture
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pAs part of our ongoing Kellogg/p

Posted on: Thu, 04/05/2001 - 9:55pm
arachide's picture
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Eileen - I'll compose my letter and post it here on the weekend.
May I propose that those who write also send a copy of their letter to the editors of their local paper?

Posted on: Thu, 04/05/2001 - 11:25pm
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Ditto Arachide. In order for me to compose a somewhat intelligent letter, I'll need someone to keep my boys distracted (away from me and away from the computer!). I should be able to write it tonight or tomorrow when my husband is home. Great idea! Deanna

Posted on: Fri, 04/06/2001 - 11:12am
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Great idea - I'll compose mine after the big holiday hoe-down this weekend.
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 04/07/2001 - 12:10am
Going Nuts's picture
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I was thinking further about this last night. Any letters sent to the Times without full names and contact info will not be published, although they will still serve a purpose by showing the Times what's what in the real world of labeling woes. For anyone who hopes to have their letter published, you must give your full name, address and phone # so they can contact you before publishing your letter.
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 04/07/2001 - 12:41am
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Good thought Amy - I'm sure Eileen doesn't want to do all this work and then not have it published on a technicality.
Hmmmm... You know, maybe Chris or Eileen could actually call the NY Times and ask them about how their policy would affect this particular situation.
When I contacted Kelloggs Canada, they said that one of the delays in getting back to us, was verifing that PeanutAllergy.com was a legitimate web site, with legitimate concerns. Perhaps the NY Times needs to speak on the phone with a member, or Chris, in order to pave the way for this campaign.
Just a thought. It's true that all newpapers require personal information for publishing letters, but since this is kind of like a petition, albiet in letter-format, an exception might be made. Eileen or Chris, can you make a phone call to find out where the NY Times will go with this?
Also, arachide - excellent idea about forwarding our letters to our local newspapers.

Posted on: Sat, 04/07/2001 - 10:53am
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Here's my letter:
______________________________________
Dear Editor,
"Team Tiger" fell short of the finish line lately.
In the wake of the recent FDA report calling for better labeling of potential allergens in food products, members of the PeanutAllergy.Com organization launched an email campaign directed toward Kellogg Company. Kellogg was chosen because many peanut allergic individuals used their products trusting the company's claim of allergy awareness and precautionary manufacturing practices.
Some of their production plants were peanut-free according to Kellogg. Products originating from these plants could be identified by specific codes on packaging. Our campaign was in part to request simplification of the code labeling used by Kellogg. Deciphering strings of code to ensure consumption safety was at best problematic and unreliable as a sole means of knowing whether a product originated from a peanut-free plant. Couldn't Kellogg just print the information in plain English on the packaging?
As consumers living with lethal peanut allergy, we relied on this information to purchase safe foods for our families and ourselves.
We had also asked if, given the FDA's findings, Kellogg would begin labeling their products to indicate any possibility of cross-contamination by major food allergens within production plants; something that is not done now.
In a shocking about-face, a Kellogg representative finally contacted us directly and admitted that they could not guarantee that their products were safe for any peanut allergic individuals. Products could change production location at a moment's notice thus rendering the coding of "peanut-free" production facilities useless. This meant that Kellogg did not maintain any peanut free production plants!
The Kellogg representative went on to say that cross-contamination labeling was not being considered at the moment. Their lauded "Allergy Task Force" was satisfactorily overseeing Kellogg's labeling practices. It would seem that Kellogg's Allergy Task Force hasn't the say of their Legal Protection Department.
Shame on you Kellogg for only coming clean when put to the wall! Even though I am a Canadian consumer, Kellogg products will no longer be a staple in my home since many sold here are imported from the US. I will not play roulette with my peanut allergic child's life.
It is my fervent hope that, unlike Kellogg Company, other food manufacturers will heed the FDA's call for stricter and complete ingredient listings. It should not have to be about legislative wrangling. It should be about ethical practices that could be life saving.
Thanks to the New York Times for its coverage of the FDA's report on food allergen issues and labeling policies.

Posted on: Sat, 04/07/2001 - 12:31pm
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You can always give the PeanutAllergy.Com phone number, email addresses etc. to the media. This way when an editor assigns the story to a reporter, the reporter can call us directly.
We often speak with reporters, editors etc. when they are looking for information on peanut allergy and/or insight into an issue.
The telephone number for PeanutAllergy.Com is (207)766-5292.
Up-to-date PeanutAllergy.Com contact information such as phone, fax, mailing, and email addresses, can be found on the PeanutAllergy.Com home page
[url="http://www.peanutallergy.com"]http://www.peanutallergy.com[/url]
by clicking on the "Contact Info" link which will bring you to this page [url="http://www.peanutallergy.com/address.htm"]http://www.peanutallergy.com/address.htm[/url]
If you are able please let us know in advance who may be contacting us and what you have contacted them about. You can do this by phoning us yourself or sending an email. You can use (and give out) my email address (below) or any *@PeanutAllergy.Com address you have such as [email]Mediateam@PeanutAllergy.Com[/email]
------------------
Stay Safe,
[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2001 - 7:16am
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Here's mine:
***********
Dear Editor:
First of all, I would like to thank you for giving the FDA report on manufacturers

Posted on: Mon, 04/09/2001 - 1:39pm
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I finally got the time to write mine.
Dear Editor,
As a parent of a child with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts, I wanted to thank you for your recent article featuring the FDA

Posted on: Tue, 04/10/2001 - 9:21am
Going Nuts's picture
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I'm super short on time (since my kids are home this week) so I'll post my letter later. But I will keep an eye on the Letters to the Editor section, and if I see our letters published I'll buy extra copies and mail them to whoever wants them.
Amy

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