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FDA Looking Into Claims That Lucky Charms Are Making People Sick

The cereal hasn't been recalled, but consumer complaints are mounting online.

lucky charms
Boston Globe/Getty Images

Lucky Charms, the marshmallow cereal beloved by kids and adult alike, has been accused of making people sick on a consumer-reporting food poisoning website. According to iwaspoisoned.com, more than 3,000 people have accused Lucky Charms of making them sick since late 2021, with many reports this month.

The reports appear to be centered on gastrointestinal issues after eating the cereal, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The claims have created enough attention to result in a recent punchline on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.

General Mills, the cereal's maker, said that it takes reports of food safety issues "very seriously," but that there aren't any "active or potential recalls" of Lucky Charms. The company's internal investigation didn't find any evidence linking the complaints of illness to the cereal, the company said.

"We encourage consumers to please share any concerns directly with General Mills to ensure they can be appropriately addressed," General Mills said in a statement to CNET last week. 

A spokesperson with the US Food and Drug Administration said the agency is investigating the complaints.

"The FDA takes seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury," the spokesperson said last week. In addition to complaints from the third-party website, the FDA investigates reports to the agency's CFSAN Adverse Event Reporting System, through which the FDA has received over 100 reports about Lucky Charms this year.

Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and diarrhea are common health problems with a variety of causes, including viruses and bacterial infections other than foodborne illness. As Insider reported, illnesses that can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea such as the norovirus may also be circulating in the US. 

But the wave of illness reports also reflects a growing interest in health monitoring systems and agencies, down to the consumer level. In the food and pharmaceutical industries alike, consumers and third-party testers have been calling for more transparency in products that impact health. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.