Life | Food and Snacks | 90s | 80s
Your Favorite Monster Cereals Actually Have A Bizarre And Controversial Past
Franken Berry, Boo-Berry, and Count Chocula were three of the best cereals to ever come across our grocery store aisles.
As children, we would beg our parents to get us some of these marshmallow-filled treats instead of the boring, old, healthier options, and when they actually did it, we were so thrilled.
Even though kids loved the cereals, there were actually a couple of different controversies involving the General Mills classics.
Competing against Tony the Tiger and Snap, Crackle, and Pop isn't the easiest task, but they managed to come up with some fun little creations for kids to fall in love with. But the parents weren't so happy about it.
Franken Berry Hospitalization
Cereal is supposed to be one of those things that is just easy to eat and you don't have to think about it much. However, a lot of people experienced some unusual issues after they ate Franken Berry cereal.
The cereal came out in 1971, but by 1972 there was an influx of gastronomic difficulties being reported in kids. One boy was even hospitalized for four days with suspected rectal hemorrhaging, but eventually doctors realized that it was just the dye from his favorite cereal.
The red dye that was used to make the cereal pink would turn their stool a bright pink or red which made people think it was blood.
After realizing that the synthetic dye couldn't be broken down in the body, the company was forced to switch to a different type of dye.
The company also got reports that their Boo-Berry flavor was affecting stools as well, except because it was turning green instead of red, parents weren't rushing their kids to a hospital.
General Mills had to change their formulas, finding a way to get the colors they want without dyeing their customers stool funny colors. Luckily they were able to switch it, and the dye wasn't found to have any lasting damage.
Count Chocula Controversy
Count Cocula cereal ran into their own controversy when they used actor Bela Legosi's Dracula without permission.
The actor was known for playing the iconic vampire in the 1931 movie, and while his family was not asked permission, that wasn't even the worst of it.
When General Mills put his image on the box, their drawing seemed to have some issues with his medallion, and it ended up looking like the Star of David.
Several Jewish groups protested the thought that Dracula was Jewish, and while General Mills apologized for the mistake, they didn't recall any of the boxes.
HT - Mental Floss / The 13th Floor / Smithsonian Magazine