Disgraced former MP criticises Kellogg’s for using monkey on its Coco Pops cereal boxes

Coco the Monkey on a Kellogg's Coco Pops cereal box. (Kellogg's)

A disgraced former MP has criticised Kellogg’s for using a monkey on its branding for Coco Pops, claiming it’s racist.

Fiona Onasanya, who was sentenced to three months in prison last year, attacked the cereal on Twitter.

She claimed to have written to Kellogg’s about the issue, but said she was still waiting for a reply.

Comparing Coco Pops to another of its cereals, Rice Krispies, she asked why one had Coco the Monkey on its boxes, while the other has Snap, Crackle and Pop.

She tweeted on Monday: “Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same composition (except for the fact CPs are brown and chocolate flavoured)… so I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?”

Former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya has claimed that Coco Pops' branding is racist. (PA)

Onasanya, a former Labour MP, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in December 2019 after lying to police over a speeding ticket.

She was sentenced to three months in prison in January 2019.

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In a follow-up tweet, she pointed out that the inventor of Corn Flakes, John Harvey Kellogg, who was in favour of racial segregation, founded the Race Betterment Foundation, a US eugenics foundation.

He was the brother of Kellogg’s founder Will Keith Kellogg.

Coco is also used on the branding of White Chocolate Coco Pops. (Kellogg's)

She wrote: “Well, given John Harvey Kellogg co-founded the Race Betterment Foundation (the Foundation's main purpose was to study the cause of and cure for ‘race degeneracy’), it would be remiss of me not to ask.”

The term “Coco Pops” was trending on Twitter on Tuesday morning as a result of her tweets.

But many Twitter users ridiculed the former MP for Peterborough for her comments.

Some pointed out that Coco the Monkey is also used on boxes of White Chocolate Coco Pops.

Others tweeted that Snap, Crackle and Pop are not boys, as Onasanya said, but elves.

She was accused of being “offended by everything” by other Twitter users.

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A spokeswoman for Kellogg’s said: “It’s important that we are all talking more about how we can build racial equality.

“Kellogg stands in support of the black community. We do not tolerate discrimination and believe that people of all races, genders, backgrounds, sexual orientation, religions, capabilities and beliefs should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

“The monkey mascot that appears on both white and milk chocolate Coco Pops was created in the 1980s to highlight the playful personality of the brand.

“As part of our ambition to bring fun to the breakfast table, we have a range of characters that we show on our cereal boxes, including tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, elves and a narwhal.”

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