Who can argue with something being friendly, right?
If something is user-friendly, it’s easy to use.
If something is environmentally-friendly, it can help save our planet.
If an apartment complex is dog-friendly, yay…my puppies are allowed!
Now let’s take a look at the official definition of “friendly”, according to our good friends at Merriam-Webster.
That sounds about right. But there is another definition of “friendly” that I want to focus on today:
And now…let’s talk about General Mills. Yes, the same company that has brought us the Cheerios debacle. What Cheerios debacle you say?
- First, GM invited me to their factory while they were still working on their soon-to-be Gluten-Free Cheerios. It didn’t go well.
- Then top advocates starting promoting them, without even knowing if they were safe or not. They weren’t.
- Then there was the recall where they got gluten in their Gluten-Free Cheerios. And people got sick.
- Then the Canadian Celiac Association made an official statement that they do not recommend celiacs eat the Cheerios. Kudos to them.
- Meanwhile the Celiac Disease Foundation continues to fully support them…and them some. Don’t get me started.
Well General Mills is at it again…to the detriment of the celiac community. They have a few new products IN DEVELOPMENT. And these products are labeled…wait for it…GLUTEN-FRIENDLY. What is gluten-friendly you say? Good question. According to GM…
In other words, odds are it won’t be safe for us to eat. Now let’s go back to that last definition of friendly: Not causing or likely to cause harm. And you tell me if this ridiculous term is apt for a product like this. Or is this product more likely to “cause us harm”.
Now look…there may be two arguments regarding this:
Argument 1 says “hey, at least they are being honest and saying it may not be safe for us to eat.” I get it and will take honesty every single time.
Argument 2 says you’re putting a GF label on a product when it is not gluten-free? Are you really creating another category for your products that says GF but it’s not remotely safe for those with celiac disease?” And yeah…this is my argument.
I’ve said hundreds of times that celiacs don’t own the term “gluten”. General Mills is a business. And the number one goal of any business is to make money. And they will do whatever it takes to reach that goal, including putting profits over people almost every damn time.
But seriously…f**k this. It makes a mockery of how we need to eat to thrive and survive. And it’s irresponsible and dangerous to those newly diagnosed who don’t the true ins and outs of our fun know little disease yet. And it sets a dangerous precedent that other companies may follow, furthering the already confusing nature of our labeling laws,
Gluten-friendly is simply not a thing. And it’s not just me. Here are what other celiac advocates are saying this am:
.@GeneralMills Appalling. Gluten-friendly Pillsbury Biscuit Dough? Way to take a term that we're hoping to get rid of & escalate it. Gluten friendly has no meaning. This is a lazy attempt to sell product instead of ensuring safety for folks w/ CD. Not good https://t.co/HQ8DfBs1Ta
— GlutenFreeWatchdog (@GFWatchdog) February 5, 2020
One of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. @GeneralMills, “gluten friendly” doesn’t mean anything. It’s a BS term that the celiac community has been advocating against for years, and you just pushed it to the foreground. https://t.co/j9MeHFnIQh
— Tasty Meditation (@TastyMeditation) February 5, 2020
Hey @GeneralMills, is this like your Cheerios? Maybe they should be changed to gluten-friendly too, since they still make people sick. You’re doing it wrong…fix it. Your products are endangering the Celiac community. https://t.co/GUtNzicWr8
— Michelle's Gluten Free Kitchen (@MGFKitchen) February 5, 2020
The only sliver of light is that these products are in development and not yet on the shelves. Let’s make our voices heard. Hit them up in any manner possible.
Just be sure to make it…friendly.