Why All the Fuss Over Peanut Butter Flavored Cheerios?

Am I missing something? General Mills' introduction of a new flavor of Cheerios- Multi Grain Peanut Butter- has led to a barrage of news reports from coast to coast:

ABC News- "New Peanut Butter Cheerios Worry Parents of Allergic Kids"
Baby Center- "Parents Want Peanut Butter Cheerios Banned"
The Washington Post-" New Peanut Butter Cheerios Triggers Anger From Parents"
The San Francisco Chronicle- "Parents Concerned About New Peanut Butter Cheerios"

I'm confused.Why the outcry now? Honey Nut Cheerios have been around for years, requiring caution for families with tree nut allergies in the house. People with food allergies are often faced with foods that look alike- even though one is safe while the other could be dangerous. It's hard to tell if a glass of milk is cow's milk or soy milk. A soy-nut butter sandwich often looks just like a peanut butter sandwich. Daiya's dairy-free shredded mozzarella looks just like Sargento's shredded mozzarella.

My point is that you can't tell just by sight whether or not a food is safe. We need to make sure our food allergic kids and their caregivers know this.

In our pantry we have regular Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios. We use a Sharpie and write "NUT" on the bag containing Honey Nut Cheerios so we can tell them apart. From an early age we made sure my food allergic child knew never to eat a food unless the label was checked.

The rules are still the same. Parents need to make sure their food allergic kids:
  1. Always read food labels (caregivers take on this responsibility for very young children)
  2. Never eat anything if the label hasn't or can't be checked.
  3. Always report symptoms.
  4. Always have epinephrine nearby in the event of a life-threatening reaction.
So, should we ban Peanut Butter Cheerios? No. General Mills is very clear on their labels. The new peanut butter flavor states:
Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter contains peanuts. Cheerios has a commitment to allergen management. We can say with complete confidence that Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter will not cross-contaminate other Cheerios varieties.
As always, if you're concerned about allergies, we highly recommend that you always consult the allergen listing and the ingredient label on any product you may consume. 
If you still want more information, contact General Mills and ask your questions or make your comments. 
I've already been in touch with General Mills to suggest they consider stamping or labeling the plastic bag within the box for easy identification. A different colored plastic bag for each flavor would be even better.

So far there's been no movement on this so we'll continue to use our Sharpie.

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