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John Harvey Kellogg Rides Again

This article, on the precipitous rise of probiotic foods in the US marketplace, calls to mind the yogurt enemas of the old Battle Creek Sanitarium. It has taken about a century, but Kellogg's has finally brought an version to market that can be taken orally. Cheers.

The aim of this article is to educate investors and, to a lesser extent, consumers about yet another Wall St. panacea; this time it's those cute little agar-eaters, live bacteria. The tone of the article is cautiously optomistic, and implies that Americans have been slow to catch on to what Asians and Europeans have known for decades. The article begins by asserting relevance and timeliness. Last year, one of Dannon's probiotic products acheived better than expected sales, bolstering Dannon's parent companies stock price, and now other food companies are poised to saturate this growing market. Research on the health effects of probiotics is summarized as promising but inconclusive. One interesting feature is the assertion by the expert source that he as no financial ties to the burgeoning industry. His assesment of probiotics was more positive than other expert sources. My guess is that, because he is a researcher at the University of Michigan, the institution and possibly the expert himself, are perceived to have friendly relations with Kellogg's, a large player in probiotic foods. Interspersed with the expert sources are lay sources who give mixed reviews to the taste and price of probiotic foods, as well as the veracity of their health claims. For now it appears that even if the products don't improve the health of consumers, they may be very healthy for corporate bottom lines.