U.S. food companies caught faking blueberries with artificial colors and liquid sugars, reveals Health Ranger investigation

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: blueberries, artificial colors, health news

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(NaturalNews) A Food Investigations mini-documentary released today exposes the "blueberry deception" in name-brand cereals, bagels, breads and bars. As revealed in the investigative video (, big-name food companies that offer blueberry cereals, muffins, pastries and bars have been caught "faking" the blueberries by creating them out of artificial colors, partially-hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

This investigation was conducted by award-winning investigative journalist Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as part of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (, which provides nutrition grants for children's education programs around the world. The non-profit "blueberry deception" video can be viewed in its entirety at

Total cereal called "Total fraud"

Named in the video are Kellogg's, Target, Betty Crocker, General Mills and other food companies that use artificial colors to create the illusion of real blueberries in their products. One General Mills cereal singled out in the mini-documentary is called Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal. But a Consumer Wellness Center investigation reveals that this cereal contains neither blueberries nor pomegranates.

Source: General Mills website nutrition facts label:

The cereal does, however, contain an astonishing 8 different sweeteners: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, Brown Sugar Syrup, Malt Syrup, Sucralose, Molasses and Honey. The front label of the Total cereal box claims "100% Nutrition."

After investigating the real ingredients of Total cereal, Mike Adams called the product a "total fraud." He added, "It's clear to me that General Mills is deceptively marketing Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal by trying to deceive consumers into believing it contains both blueberries and pomegranates -- two foods that are gaining a reputation as healthy ingredients in the minds of consumers."

"If consumers don't read the ingredients label, they may be easily misled into believing they are purchasing a cereal containing health-enhancing blueberries and pomegranates, when in reality they are buying sugared-up grains promoted with shamelessly deceptive marketing," said Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, who researched, scripted and narrated the Food Investigations episode.

General Mills, however, isn't the only big-name food company called out in the shocking video documentary. Several other companies are also exposed in the mini-documentary available for viewing at

How to avoid fake blueberries in food products

As explained in the video, consumers can avoid being deceived by food companies by following these three simple steps:

#1) Read the ingredients labels and look for artificial colors such as Red #40, Blue #1 and Blue #2. They are usually found near the end of the ingredients list.

#2) Don't buy foods made with artificial colors because the purpose of those colors is to cosmetically alter the appearance of those foods to make them appear more visually stimulating in order to "trick" or influence the consumer's purchasing decisions. When eating blueberry-colored cereals or pastries, many consumers actually believe they're eating real blueberries, even though no blueberries whatsoever may be used in the making of the product.

#3) Don't let your kids eat foods with artificial colors. At least one artificial color has been linked to symptoms of ADHD. Artificial colors are derived from coal tars and several colors have been banned in the past few decades due to human health hazards.

Furthermore, you can refuse to buy products from companies that use artificial colors. These include all the major cereal companies and mainstream food producers.

Artificial colors are also widely used in processed meats where the ingredient known as "sodium nitrite" is actually a red color fixer that gives dead, putrid-looking meat a fresh red appearance. Sodium nitrite, which is found in nearly all mainstream hot dogs, lunch meats, ham products, bacon, sausage and jerky products, is linked to alarming increases in risks of pancreatic cancer, color cancer and even brain tumors in children. (

Real blueberries are great for you!

Adams believes it is important to emphasize that real blueberries are very good for human health. "Real blueberries offer a powerhouse of health-enhancing nutrition. They protect arteries, health lower blood pressure and provide an assortment of natural antioxidants to protect the eyes, brain and nervous system," Adams says.

Blueberries are also known to help prevent cancer, boost memory and even help reduce belly fat (

Watch for more food investigations from consumer health advocate Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

Join the online protest against General Mills

General Mills is not an evil company, at least not in the sense of "Monsanto evil." Although they made a huge mistake with their misleading Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal, they do provide several healthy brands such as Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen. They also bought Larabar a year or two ago, and that's a decent food bar (although it's still not organic).

We want to help educate General Mills to the fact that customers are smarter than they think. We are paying attention, and we will boycott General Mills when they decide to treat us like consumer morons.

Join us in contacting General Mills and urging them to stop their deceptive marketing practices that deceive consumers about what's really inside the box.

Use the following contact page to offer your feedback:

Sample comment you may wish to submit:

I am a General Mills customer who is appalled at the dishonest product naming and labeling used to promote Total Blueberry Pomegranate Cereal, which contains no blueberries nor pomegranates. I am joining an online protest organized by and the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center to urge you to recall this falsely-labeled product and either change the product name and labeling or reformulate it to contain actual blueberries and pomegranates.

As a health-conscious consumer, I strongly object to your use of these superfoods in the name and labeling of your Total cereal when your own ingredients reveal the blueberries to be faked through the use of artificial food coloring chemicals, vegetable oils and processed sugars.

Until such time that you announce your intention to remedy the misleading labeling and marketing of your Total cereal product, I will join in boycotting all General Mills products as a measure of protest against deceptive marketing practices.

(Type your name here)

Keep in mind that if you give General Mills your *real* email address in their contact form, they will obviously have your email. (And I'm not sure how they will use it.) So you may wish to use a throwaway email address when using their feedback form. That's up to you. I personally don't want General Mills sending me promotional emails for Lucky Charms.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

In late 2013, Adams launched the Natural News Forensic Food Lab, where he conducts atomic spectroscopy research into food contaminants using high-end ICP-MS instrumentation. With this research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products to low levels by July 1, 2015.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

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