Girls Scouts cookies may seem like harmless sweet treats hawked by uniformed cherubs, but the high-caloric cookies are causing controversy and making news across the nation. Here, a quick rundown of the flare-ups:
1. Are Girl Scout cookies killing orangutans?
Many of the scouts' cookie varieties contain palm oil, otherwise known as the "No. 1 culprit behind deforestation in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia," says Glenn Hurowitz at Grist. When two girl scouts in Michigan learned the cookies were contributing to destroying the habitats of endangered animals like orangutans, pygmy elephants, and Sumatran tigers, they stopped selling the cookies and demanded the Girl Scouts use more environmentally friendly ingredients. The organization has thus far refused to budge.
2. Do Thin Mints trigger violence?
Two Florida roommates got violent when one accused the other of eating her Thin Mints. The 31-year-old woman chased her cookie-scarfing roomie with scissors, and hit her with a board. She was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and release on $10,000 bail. For $4, she could have just gotten another box of cookies...
3. Why did Savannah ban the sale of Do-Si-Dos?
In Savannah, Ga., where peddling goods on a public sidewalk is forbidden, the Girl Scouts were banned from selling cookies outside the historic home of the group's founder. "I know it doesn't look good," a city zoning administrator said of the ban. "However, other businesses won't care if it's the Girl Scouts or March of Dimes. They're going to say, 'Why can't I sit out front and solicit business?'" After a public outcry, Savannah's city manager intervened to grant the scouts an exception.
4. Did the Scouts fib about trans fats?
In January, the Girl Scouts came under fire for labeling their cookies as trans-fats-free, when some varieties do indeed contain the artery-clogging oils. Like Chips Ahoy and Nutter Butters, the scouts take advantage of an FDA loophole that allows them to be less than 100 percent honest in their labeling. A spokesman for the Girl Scouts wouldn't reveal how much trans fat the cookies contain, saying only that the sweet treats are "to be enjoyed in moderation."