Girl Scout Cookies: The Latest Controversies

It's the season for Samoas, Tagalongs and Thin Mints, and that means one thing: outrage!

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Brian Ramsay / Modesto Bee / Corbis

Girl Scouts parade in downtown Riverbank, Calif., Dec. 4, 2010.

Girl Scout cookie pre-orders begin in my area on Friday, and retail sales may soon be coming to a location near you. But before you ready your checkbook, hear this:

• Did you know that, behind those free-enterprising, wholesome, green-clad young entrepreneurs is an organization that promotes Communism?

• Did you know that their “It’s Your Planet — Love It!” “journeys” are funded via the destruction of the Amazon rain forest?

• And did you know that, for too many of our hungry compatriots, their Thin Mints are nothing less than Disks of Death? (“Cookies or Killers?” asks one petition, titled “Stop the Girl Scout Cookie Lie.”)

(MORE: Girl Scouts Introduce New Cookie)

I knew none of this — despite having served in the Girl Scouts for six years. Despite myself having recently gone over to the ranks of the gluten-free. But now, thanks to Fox News, a website called Speak Now, which is allegedly co-edited by two recovering young Scouts, and a quick tour of various links and petitions, the Do-si-dos have fallen from my eyes. I’ve learned these shocking truths:

• Some Girl Scout cookies contain palm oils.

• Girl Scout educational materials flatteringly feature such family-destroying, Marxism-promoting, “same-sex lifestyle”-flaunting chippies as Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir and Billie Jean King.

• Those nutty, buttery, floury “treats” actually contain allergens — the presence of which means that (up to) fully 10% (if you’re really, really inclusive) of our population will be excluded from this year’s national rite of making ourselves sick on Thin Mints.

(MORE: Warner: The Better-Bake-Sale Battle)

And the Girl Scouts, apparently, just don’t care.

As with all treats, they should be enjoyed in moderation,” the national organization’s Cookie FAQs web page viciously taunts those worried about obesity, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, free trade zones, diabetes, low-carb diets and successfully living their “whole-wheat, wheat-free, non-dairy, dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, organic, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, low-fat, non-fat, fat-free, etc.” lifestyle, as the organization puts it, with a callous brush-off about reading nutrition labels and making “informed choices.”

Is this good enough for an organization with a purported mission to change the world?

“The human interest story is not enough for them — that there are a lot of Girl Scouts, like my daughter, who sell cookies, a lot of troop moms like myself, who have to support their troop, and they can’t eat the cookies,” were the wrenching words from Stacy Malinow, a gluten-free mom from Long Island, N.Y. who, last cookie season, appeared on Fox’s Good Day New York, with her highly embarrassed daughter, Elle, who has celiac disease or gluten intolerance.  “That hasn’t been enough for the girl scouts to take notice.”

Elle, who was 7 years old at the time of her TV debut, is reported to have sold more than 300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Yet, she told Good Day New York’s Rosanna Scotto, she has tasted them just once.

“And then what happened?” Scotto asked, her voice and affect indistinguishable from those of Mike Myers’ old Coffee Talk anchor, Linda Richman. (“They’re not even saying, one box they’ll do for you, gluten-free?”)

“Nothing,” answered the child.