General Mills Scraps Controversial New Legal Terms

NEW YORK (AP) -

General Mills is scrapping a controversial plan to strip consumers of their right to sue the food company.

The company, which produces Cheerios, had posted a notice of a change to its legal terms — visitors using its websites or engaging with it online meant they would have to give up their right to sue. Instead, people would need to have disputes resolved through arbitration.

The Minnesota-based company’s decision was widely denounced on social media after The New York Times wrote a story Wednesday bearing the headline, “When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue.” The next day, General Mills clarified the meaning of its new terms to say they did not apply when people engaged on social media, just when they subscribed to its publication or downloaded its coupons.

Despite the clarification, the company apparently continued to feel pressure, and issued another statement late Saturday saying it was returning to the previous terms.

“We are announcing today that we have reverted back to our prior legal terms, which contain no mention of arbitration,” the email said.