Ever heard of Mr. Kanny cereals? I noticed these at a Lotte Mart one night a couple of weeks ago, and while they didn’t appeal at all — they seemed to be some kind of Italian corn breakfast cereal — something stood out about them. The Italian equivalent of “This Product Contains Only” was visible and easy enough to translate, but the next line was covered up by a little green strip of what looked like some kind of colored tape.
We peeled off the green stuff on one box, starting on one said (which had a word that looked something like “organic”) and then the other (which had the recognizable phrase “GM”). So I’m guessing that the cereal was marked organic and GM free, until, well, someone in legal noticed that it wasn’t, and the cereal company had to cover up its selling point claim.
But of course, who’d buy a cereal with a weird-looking greenish patch over the _______ in “This Product Contains only ________”? Nobody in Italy, one assumes. So the company had to turn to the global market, to places where either the covered up patch on the box wouldn’t be noticed, or where people wouldn’t quite know what it says down there by that little green strip even if they did think to peel the strip back.
I don’t know how well the cereal actually was selling, mind, or even whether there’s anything to be genuinely concerned about in that cereal. (From what I gather, the anti-GM movement in Europe is almost at the point of fanatical religious proportions.) I just think it’s interesting that, in essence, Korea served as a dumping site for it. Well, interesting in the sense of chilling, because, you know, who knows what else has been dumped onto the market here, right?
If you were raised Catholic (or maybe some other Christian sects have the idea, I don’t know) then you had it drilled into your head that if you are prone to some sort of problem, one of the best ways to avoid repeating the problem is to not put yourself into a situation where it becomes likelier you’ll do whatever it is you’re trying not to do. That’s called “avoiding sin and the near occasion of sin,” but it works pretty well whatever your poison is, even something as innocuous (and not-sinful) as ice cream or potato chips.
By the principle of avoiding the “near occasion” of contamination, then, the place to be seems to be somewhere in Europe. And the place not to be, of course, is somewhere like Korea, where the potentially harmful, might-be-slightly-toxic, rules-in-lots-of-countries-would-make-this-illegal-but-not-here approach may well be likelier to catch up with the populace eventually. Something worth thinking about. Which is to say that while the fear of vCJD being transmitted to Korea via American beef was probably fantastical, the general instinct to distrust was on the mark. Sadly, I didn’t see any of the green strips peeled off except the one I myself peeled off a cereal box.
My only regret is not having had a camera with me in order to snap a pic of those dubious boxes of Mr. Kanny’s cereal, but you can seem some (sans green tape) here.