Plastic in Larabars: If you want this to stop then make some noise
In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2018,
A series of bites, barks, tail wags, face licks, and pant tugs from Gluten Free Watchdog
May 18, 2018
Gluten Free Watchdog Bark, Post # 18
Plastic in Larabars
The current problem of plastic in Larabars is not a gluten-free issue per se. But these bars are a go to snack food for many in the celiac disease community. These bars were my breakfast each and every day for years. I first came across plastic in my Larabar in 2015. Plastic showed up again in 2016. Needless to say, I stopped eating these bars. I will never eat another one. If General Mills is this sloppy with plastic what else are they sloppy with?
For those not on social media here is the background information on these bars:
Yesterday a consumer reached out to me about pieces of plastic embedded in a Larabar purchased on April 28th. Plastic in Larabars has been an ongoing issue since at least 2012 based on photos on Twitter (https://twitter.com/search?q=plastic%20larabar&src=typd).
As mentioned above, I first found plastic in a Larabar in 2015. A formal complaint was filed with an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator. After finding plastic again in 2016 General Mills assured me that they were working to resolve the issue. Fast forward to May 2018. Plastic in Larabars is still an issue.
Thank you to the consumer who reached out to me. Consumer photo posted with permission.
Statement from General Mills
Yesterday, I reached out to General Mills for comment. Their statement is posted below with permission.
“Thank you for reaching out on this topic. The pureed dates we use to make Larabars comes to us in a thin blue plastic liner. On rare occasions, a small piece of this flexible liner may be torn off in the manufacturing process and finds its way into the bar when we mix our ingredients together. This has been a stubborn issue to solve, and we have tried several solutions. Since we last discussed this issue with you, we have changed the liners that our pureed date supplier uses, resulting in a dramatic reduction in this issue. The bar you sent to us used the old liner. We sincerely apologize for this issue and will work with any consumer who contacts us to replace their Larabar. While FDA regulations do not consider this issue a safety hazard, we take it very seriously and are continuing to monitor the issue closely.”
Note: It is the case that FDA considers HARD plastic a safety hazard. It is unclear how the agency views softer pieces of plastic.
What should consumers do?
- Call General Mills
- File a formal complaint with an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.
- Do not toss the bar or the packaging until you speak directly with FDA.
- If you are on social media, make noise–post photos in as many places as possible.
- Stop buying the bars!