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KELLOGG PAID 'INDEPENDENT' BREAKFAST EXPERTS TO PROMOTE CEREAL

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On its website, Kellogg touted a distinguished-sounding “Breakfast Council” of “independent experts” who helped guide its nutritional efforts.

Nowhere did it say this: The maker of Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes paid the experts and fed them talking points, according to a copy of a contract and emails obtained by The Associated Press.

The company paid the experts an average of $13,000 a year, prohibited them from offering media services for products “competitive or negative to cereal” and required them to engage in “nutrition influencer outreach” on social media or with colleagues, and report back on their efforts.

“I’m still feeling great from my bowl of cereal & milk this morning! Mini-Wheats are my fave,” a council member posted during a Twitter chat with Kellogg about the benefits of cereal. Kellogg introduced the dietitian as a “Breakfast Council Member.”

Without noting her relationship with Kellogg, another council member and dietitian chimed in to say Mini-Wheats were her favourite, too. She included a photo of Frosted Mini-Wheats.

For Kellogg, the breakfast council — in existence between 2011 and this year — deftly blurred the lines between cereal promotion and impartial nutrition guidance. The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast and try to influence the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines.

The Kellogg’s Breakfast Council included a professor of nutrition, a pediatrician and dietitians. Kellogg said the council’s activities were clearly sponsored.

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/11/21/kellogg-breakfast-council-was-made-up-of-paid-experts.html

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