Effecting Change

Cheerios

Please sign and share the petition on Change.org.

We are divided.

On one side of the gluten-free community who have gotten sick from the so-called gluten-free Cheerios, those who have seen them get sick and are refraining from trying them, and those who are aware of the processes and testing General Mills is employing and refuse to go near them.

The other side of the gluten-free community are those who have eaten the so-called gluten-free Cheerios without overt symptoms and those who have been compensated in one way or another to be cheerleaders for gluten-free Cheerios and are leading unsuspecting people into the the void.

You cannot ignore the reports of all the people who have said they have gotten sick when my post Pissing In The Gluten-Free Cheerios was shared on Facebook or on the Change.org petition I started. It’s there, in black and white. This is a high rate of reporting on something labeled gluten-free.

You would think that with all these reports, there would be more compassion from the community as a whole. That we would unite to make sure more of us in the gluten-free community don’t get sick.

Right?

I’ve seen comments from those who ate the gluten-free Cheerios, say they didn’t react, then wonder why people are upset. Or they are asymptomatic and say they’ll keep eating them.

Did we all forget that lack of symptoms doesn’t mean no reaction? That lack of symptoms could mean gluten is doing silent damage to your body? That enough silent reactions could lead to bigger health problems down the line?

How about those who are being rewarded by General Mills? The ones who  were flown up there and have been singing gluten-free Cheerios praises ever since?

Many of us got into blogging to share our stories and recipes. We do it without pay or any type of compensation. Eventually, some find sponsors who compensate the bloggers for their posts in favor of their product(s). I think there are only a handful of bloggers who can walk the line of advertising a product and maintaining the integrity of their blog.

Yes, I said integrity.

If you have integrity, how can you keep cheering on a product like gluten-free Cheerios and encouraging people to buy it when so many are falling ill?

As a former advocate in the mental health field, seeing wrong and wanting to make it right comes naturally. When a vice-principal sits across from me telling me he’s sure another student isn’t bullying my client because “he wouldn’t do something like that” when I know my client would lie to me, I don’t sit there and say, “Okay, if you say so.” No. I tell him he better take care of the situation or if I get another report of bullying from my client, I’ll make sure it will be the last.

Integrity, once lost, is hard to regain. Those of you beholden to General Mills need to re-evaluate what is more important: your integrity and the safety of the gluten-free community or monetary gain?

I don’t mince words. I don’t sugar coat. I don’t blow smoke. My former clients know this. While it stung being held accountable in the moment, they appreciated me because they knew my actions meant I cared.

This situation of people getting sick is unacceptable. After reading so many comments from people about their physical reaction, I started the petition. Action needed to be taken.

We need to unite. We need to stop thinking that just because “I didn’t react” that everyone else is wrong or out to get a food giant. We need to put aside personal gain and support those who are suffering.

This is a community issue and we need each other to effect change.