In the political arena, transgender topics made headlines Thursday. The House voted to pass the Equality Act, which would add sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. However, critics argue that the bill puts biologically female student-athletes at an unfair disadvantage and could even be potentially dangerous for young girls.
Also on Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) grilled President Joe Biden's nominee for assistant secretary of health, Dr. Rachel Levine, over children undergoing life-altering sex change operations.
Oreos, the creme-filled cookie, decided it was necessary to enlighten the world with its stance on transgendered individuals.
The official Twitter account for Oreo cookies, which has nearly 1 million followers, tweeted: "Trans people exist."
Trans people exist.— OREO Cookie (@OREO Cookie)1614285631.0
The tweet from the snack brand quickly went viral, racking up over 400,000 likes since it was posted on Thursday afternoon. Soon "Oreos" was trending on Twitter under the topic of "politics."
The algorithm is on fire tonight. @oreo (yes, Oreo) is trending under politics (yes, politics). https://t.co/Mt4YlKjAHH— Jake Williams (@Jake Williams)1614309078.0
The cookie brand received backlash for spouting identity politics, many ridiculing Oreos for being "stunning and brave."
You’re a cookie. https://t.co/O9GjLM1Qyw— Sara Gonzales (@Sara Gonzales)1614347748.0
Twitter users dunked on the cookie company for its woke tweet by insisting that the brand "Just make cookies, please."
One user asked, "When did y'all start double-stuffing your politics down our throats?"
Fox News Channel contributor Lisa Booth reacted by saying, "Why even take a political stance on this? This is why America is so divided. Even cookies have to be divisive."
Conservative activist Melissa Tate responded, "Thanks captain obvious. Their existence is not in question. The question we are asking is should biological men be displacing women & girls like in sport, trampling on our rights & our existence as women."
Journalist Michael Tracey posted, "Evidently a Zoom meeting was held where somebody said something to the effect of: 'Our emerging customer base wants their gender identities validated by a mass-produced cream-filled cookie product.'"
Political cartoonist Stonetoss Comics lampooned the tweet, while another posted a meme with fellow cookie company Pepperidge Farm.
@Oreo https://t.co/VVey15bpzC https://t.co/NsDQHhGZN6— stonetoss comics (@stonetoss comics)1614289971.0
@Oreo https://t.co/MqceS7DXbG— Travis Wines (@Travis Wines)1614296553.0
Many users noted that Oreos is owned by snack food behemoth Mondelez International, which has enjoyed making at least $26 billion in profits every year since at least 2008. Some noted that the human rights group International Rights Advocates filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Mondelez and six other big-name chocolate makers in 2019, alleging the corporations were complicit in child trafficking and forced child labor. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight Malian men who claim they were forced to harvest cocoa in the Ivory Coast after being trafficked as children.
Many of the biggest chocolate companies in the world signed a pledge in 2001 to eradicate "the worst forms of child labor" from their West African cocoa suppliers. Mondelez did not sign the pledge.
"Other companies that were not signatories, such as Mondelez and Godiva, also have taken such steps, but likewise would not guarantee that any of their products were free of child labor," the Washington Post reported in 2019.
said it is committed to eliminating child labor with several initiatives, including a strategy to "empower communities to advocate for their own development" and "empower women at household and community level."
Other Twitter users pointed out that the environmental activist group Greenpeace accused Oreos of not doing enough to curb deforestation in 2018.
"The makers of Oreo, Mondelez, still buys its palm oil from the world's largest and dirtiest palm oil trader in the world: Wilmar," a
statement from Greenpeace read. "Its palm oil is associated to several of the suppliers linked to forest destruction and human right abuses in Indonesia."
Mondelez responded to the Greenpeace accusations by announcing plans to address deforestation in Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Indonesia with a program called "Cocoa Life."
"Our plans to combat deforestation in cocoa include a commitment to map 100% of the farms that supply Mondelēz International's Cocoa Life program by the end of 2019," said Cedric van Cutsem, Associate Director, Operations, Cocoa Life. "Mapping and monitoring farms will give us a deeper understanding of farmers' needs so we can help drive effective change. In addition, our plans include financial incentives that will encourage farmers and communities to protect and renew forest areas."