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New peanut butter Cheerios triggers anger from parents

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New peanut butter Cheerios triggers anger from parentsPublished 

Cheerios has just launched a new flavor — peanut butter — and the reaction in some homes has not been what the company might have expected.

“People are very upset about it,” said Gina Clowes, founder of Allergy Moms, a national support group.

“I know some allergy families that currently buy Cheerios are vowing not to buy them at all for fear of cross contact while processing and to avoid confusion in their own homes.”

It seems that although the new flavor’s box makes it clear that these are a new kind of Cheerios, the cereal itself is hard to distinguish from the original. This issue is especially troubling to parents because Cheerios are so often carted in baggies by toddlers who share them freely.

“It has become the norm to have toddlers walking around with bags of cereal to snack on,” Clowes said. “Toddlers are notoriously messy eaters. It [would] be difficult to distinguish this variety from ones that are ‘safe’ and one misplaced peanut butter Cheerio can cause a serious reaction.”

I called the Cheerios media relations staff and am awaiting a reply.

Many parents who do not have an allergy-suffering child might roll their eyes at the concern. But allergies can be terribly severe.

Just last week, a Virginia first-grader died after a friend shared a peanut with her on the playground.

A well-regarded national study published in the journal Pediatrics this past summer estimated that 8 percent of children — that’s 5.9 million kids — suffer from food allergies.

The report also found that close to 40 percent of those children suffer severe reactions.

Though it remains unclear why the food allergies have spread and intensified in recent years, any parent of an allergy-sufferer knows that weathering a child’s food sensitivities is frightening terrain.

Given the modern ubiquity of allergies, do manufacturers of children’s food have an extra responsibility to be sensitive to food allergies?

If so, how?

by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM
Replies (491-500):
by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM
3 moms liked this

I'm sorry for those who are allergic, however, is it really fair to try to stop a company from producing a product?  If the answer is yes, then no cigarettes would be out daughter is allergic.  No one seems to want to stop the candy companies from producing chocolate...which more people seem to be allergic to.

Also, does anyone know what the cost of creating a different shape of cereal would be?  Cheerios have always been the same shape...they wouldn't be Cheerios if they were a different shape.  You are asking a company to reconfigure their machines for a new shape of cereal.  How cost effective would that be?

I do not believe you can hold a company to the standard of only making a flavor of cereal if it is a different shape.  There has been peanut butter cereals around for a long time.  Captain Crunch had one and no one complained.  Peanut Butter Toast complaints.  Reese's complaint.

So why now?  Because a child one should have to go through that.  However, trying to blame General Mills for making Peanut Butter Cheerios is wrong.


by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM

im really not understanding this mess like whats the big deal just dont buy them for you kids and ur kid cant eat some types of food tell them not to eat thing that other kids give them duhh cuz what about the kids that loves penutbutter like get a life n find something really importan to get mad about like dang.... what about the lil 13 year old that got n his dad gun case n shot a 12 year old all cuz she said she didnt like his shoes talk about that do something about that

by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM

YEP THIS IS STUPID! STUPID PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. I have close friends who's children have peanut allergies and they were just smart enough to teach their children to know what they're eating before they eat it. duh... You can't tell me you're truely worried about a child toting a baggie of peanut cheerios any more or less than you would be a child toting a baggie of peanut butter crackers. I don't see parents cracking on that. This is just another stupid attempt for people to try to feel special to speak out against something that is going to happen anyway and is, wait for it, actually a good additive for other children. So let's not focus on the real stuff like GMO's and lets focus on something packed with the protein our children need. STUPID PEOPLE EVERYWHERE! 

by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM
2 moms liked this
To the people saying don't buy it, DUH !
This parent is worried also about toddlers sharing at a pre-school/day care. No one can keep track of all the kids every minute, so it is entirely possible sharing could happen. And how many 1-2 y/o's or even 3 y/o's will know Not to share ?!? We can teach, that doesn't guarantee anything.

As for the cruel comments, seriously ? These people are worried about their children - peanut allergies are often life or death situations. My child just in the last few yrs acquired a sensitivity to peanuts, but as my child is older, its easier for us to regulate. If I had to deal with the same problem when my child was a toddler, I'd be just as cautious as the mom posting. It's a terrifying situation.

And your heartless remarks are rude & insensitive, not to mention just ignorant on the part of the ones cussing her out. Show some class, and possibly do some research. Did you know, for example, that you can have a minor sensitivity for years, basically not knowing you have the allergy at all, and "out of the blue" you have a severe reaction that can kill you ? Not all people have a severe reaction until that one. Wouldn't you be more cautious with your child, or even yourself ?

For those moms in this situation, they already know what not to buy, they've lived this life for a while. But something like this new cereal makes their lives, and those of their children that much more difficult. That's the point of the post. The company can produce whatever it wants, the poster is simply suggesting the company take into consideration the fact that there are many children with allergies, and make the new cereal a different shape, color, something, to distinguish it from the others. That's not asking too much.
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by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:54 PM
For the record, my daughter (who is 5) knows not to share food, never to take food without an adult who knows her allergies to look at it, and knows better than most how to give herself an epi-pen injection. She sniffs her food to check for peanuts before eating it, no matter who gave it to her. She can tell you what the signs of anaphylaxis are, and can list all of her allergens. This is a daily thing for parents of allergic children; it's not just "good parenting," it's necessary. I trust my dd to be calmer should something happen than most adults.

And yet, we ended up in the ER last year because she ate choco-candy with macadamia pieces in it before bringing it to me. It was too tempting, and she's just a child. And adults make mistakes too.

I am curious if all these folks who tell us to "teach our kids not to eat it" have child locks on their cabinets to keep their kids out pf the cleaning supplies. Can't they just teach their kids not to drink them?

Incidentally, my daughter knows not to drink those too…
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by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:55 PM
I understand the whole allergy thing but should kids without allergies have to suffer? Y not just make it look different to make it easy to distinguish rather then trying to get people not to buybit at all or not buying other flavors for ur kids. Teach ur child they can't always share with other kids without checking with a grown up first.
by Ruby Member on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Good Grief!!! 

by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:57 PM
I'm a foster parent and we had a baby who had a nut allergy. The mom wrote us a letter threatening us with procecution if we fed him anything he was allergic to. Then she sent a bag full of Honey-Nut Cheerios for him! Sure enough, he broke out with a rash. I was so mad! So, yeah, I don't really get why they're upset about ANOTHER Cheerios with nuts in them.

Quoting fatcat0908:

Cross contamination...really because they have been making Honey NUT Cheerios for almost a half century now!

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by New Member on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM

"Many parents who do not have an allergy-suffering child might roll their eyes at the concern. But allergies can be terribly severe."

I was one of those parents until my 18mth old (now 3 yrs) was given peanut butter @ daycare & then taken to the ER because his face became huge w/ puffy eyes & began tocry. It is a VERY horrible & scary event when your child has an allergic reaction. "Peanut" allergy is a common & very severe allergy if the person does not reach the ER in time, even if they have an EPIpen. When I moved to CO I searched for a preschool that was "peanut" free & my child & his siblings are all aware of their allergies & each other allergies. I thought them this before I taught them the phone number, etc. It was sad to read a girl with a peanut allergy ate peanutbutter & died. I hope no other parent has to loose a child in such a horrible way. Those who have kids with allergies PLEASE make sure they know what they are allergic to & yes tell them what can happen if they ingest what they are allergic to.

by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM

As a mama to a little one with multiple severe allergies I can understand the frustration, but agree that if it's no longer a safe food you just quit buying it. That's Cheerios loss. For people with peanut allergies, there is a big difference between almonds and peanuts. Honey Nut Cheerios is made with Almond flavor not peanuts. It's not a big loss here since puffed rice and puffed millet is about the only store bought cereal we can safely eat.

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