Yesterday, Frito Lay, maker of such snack foods as Doritos chips, announced that about half its snack foods would soon be made with all natural ingredients, including removing such known-harmful additives as monosodium glutamate (MSG). The move was immediate condemned by the Campaign for Snack-o Free Kids (CSFK), who accused Frito Lay of trying to market their product to children.
The head of CSFK, who is also its spokesperson and as far as anyone can tell the entire “campaign”, Margret “Nanny” Myerson, said that improving the quality of the product was a blatant attempt to make customers like it more. “It used to be that only rich people like me, who could afford to shop at Whole Foods, had access to all-natural, MSG-free snacks. Now any kid with a dollar can enjoy somewhat healthier snacks on the way home from school. It is an outrage.” Nanny Myerson added that when choosing snacks, kids are drawn to claims about healthier products and so, “this is just a way for Big Snack to hook health-conscious 14-year-olds, and will then be a gateway for them to switch to fluorescent orange highly artificial snacks when they are older and less concerned about their health.”
The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association all endorsed CSFK’s condemnation because that is what they always do. An official of one of them — it no longer seems to matter which — stated, on the condition of anonymity, that they had long since given up trying to think intelligently about this issue and just endorse whatever any nutcase radical has to say.
The new Frito Lay formulations will also include less salt, as reported here, a piece of information mysteriously omitted from the above link from Bloomberg News. In a presumably unrelated development, New York City and its mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who continue their battle to ban added salt from foods have not commented on Frito Lay’s announcement. Almost no one expects that they will soon hold a press conference praising Frito Lay’s attempt to do exactly what they claim to want.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reported to be monitoring the situation closely. An FDA official familiar with the matter reported that if Frito Lay implies in their advertising that the new natural snacks can be a substitute for snacks with more artificial ingredients then FDA will seize the new products as an unapproved artificial-ingredient-cessation device. “We cannot have people making patently obvious claims without doing completely uninformative clinical trials,” the official reported, adding that pointless clinical trials is one of the few remaining growth industries in the U.S. economy.
Other opinions about the Frito Lay move are mixed, with CSPI praising the removal of artificial chemicals, EDF calling them “endocrine disruptors”, and ACSH complaining that this is just another case of “chemophobia”. So far, no actual consumer has expressed any interest in the news whatsoever.
– Carl V. Phillips