Food bloggers' petition to remove dyes in Kraft Dinner boils over
Two American food bloggers have received more than 230,000 signatures on their petition to get artificial dyes removed from Kraft Macaroni and Cheese products.
Vani Hari of foodbabe.com and Lisa Leake of 100daysofrealfood.com launched a petition on Change.org to pressure Kraft Food Group to remove the colourings Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 from their Macaroni and Cheese products. It's known in North America for its near-incandescent orange cheese sauce and blue box packaging. Canadians know it better as Kraft Dinner.
Hari and Leake started their campaign when they discovered that the U.K.'s version of the pasta, called Kraft Cheesy Pasta, tastes and looks virtually the same as the U.S. version but does not use either artificial dye. The bloggers claim that the dyes can potentially cause adverse effects in young children with behavioural problems.
The petition has received more than 238,000 signatures since it was posted on Tuesday. The duo have appeared on Good Morning America, CNN Live and Dr. Oz.
Hari told The Guardian that they singled out Kraft because of its popularity in the United States and that they hoped the company could become a world leader if it chooses to remove the dyes from their products. "We wanted to educate the American consumer and let them know what is in their food. We just picked an iconic food product to really get that message across," she said.
A spokesperson Kraft Foods responded with a letter, saying: "The safety and quality of our products is our highest priority and we take consumer concerns very seriously. We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the US, we only use colors that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the FDA."
In 2011 an advisory panel from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded that there is not enough evidence to show that certain dyes cause hyperactivity in children with attention deficit disorder. They did, however, recommend further tests to definitively confirm or disprove a link between them.
Health Canada encourages food manufacturers to voluntarily declare food colours by their individual common names on food labels (rather than a single listing of "colour" in an ingredients list).
In 2012 The Walrus named Kraft Dinner as Canada's national food.
Should Kraft Foods remove artificial food dyes from its macaroni and cheese? What's your take on the FDA's studies on artificial food colourings?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies)
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