From Iceland — Samkaup Files An Appeal To Get Lucky Charms Ban Overturned

Samkaup Files An Appeal To Get Lucky Charms Ban Overturned

Published September 15, 2022

Photo by
Nathan and Olsen

Samkaup has appealed the Reykjavík Health Authority’s decision to ban the sale of the popular Lucky Charms breakfast cereal, reports RÚV.

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The company believes that the inspectorate’s decision was based solely on the fact that the breakfast cereal violates food laws because it was produced in the United States and on year-old statements that it was no longer produced with the European market in mind.

Many people were quite saddened when the wholesaler Nathan & Olsen announced in March last year that the brands Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms were no longer available for the Icelandic market.

The reason was said to be a changed recipe that included added natural coloring. It did not comply with European legislation, but hard work was being done to develop a solution to this problem. And subsequently, the distribution of the cereal on the Icelandic market was stopped.

In May, the Reykjavík Department of Health received a tip that Lucky Charms were for sale in Nettó’s online store. The information was received from Samkaup, which owns and operates Nettó, that the breakfast cereal was brought to the country by the company itself and therefore distributed to stores throughout the country.

The National Health Service decided that the sale of the breakfast cereal had to be stopped and the company was forbidden to distribute it after June 15, 2022.

The company was dissatisfied with the decision of the inspectorate and demanded at the beginning of June that it reconsider its decision. Only year-old statements from General Mills and Nathan & Olsen would have been referred to. It would not be specified in any way whether and which ingredients of the breakfast cereal the National Health Service considered illegal or which rules had been violated.

The National Health Service stuck to its position and confirmed its decision on June 14. General Mills had decided not to produce Lucky Charms for sale in Europe. The company was informed about this and relabeling or researching the content did not change anything.

The inspectorate said it did not intend to demand information from General Mills about the changes made to the cereal’s recipe. The facts of the case would not be affected and therefore no reason to review the decision or revoke it.

Samkaup has now decided to apply to the Ministry of Food to have this decision overturned. In the complaint, the company says that it was not specified if and which ingredients the Lucky Charms the inspectorate considered illegal, nor which rules had been violated.

The company believes that the National Health Service did not take care of its investigative duty, failed to gather further data and based its decision on a statement that is more than a year old. The case was therefore not sufficiently informed before the decision was made.

The company points out that the announcement will not show that the company has marketed foods that are harmful to health or unfit for consumption. On the contrary, a solution was being found for Lucky Charms to be in accordance with European regulations. “Had the National Health Service been in a position to request information on the state of affairs at General Mills or Samkaup before a decision was made.”

Instead, the inspectorate based its decision solely on the fact that the breakfast cereal was illegal because it was produced in the United States.

The complaint was sent to the ministry in the middle of last month.

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