Apr 2, 2013 9:35 AM by Marissa Torres
Two North Carolina food bloggers are getting national attention. They're asking Kraft to remove food coloring from the manufacturing giants popular Mac & Cheese.
When food bloggers Lisa Leak and Vani Hari started investigating U.S. products using additives that are banned in other countries, they made Mac & Cheese a mission, starting with Kraft, one of the largest based food companies in the country.
"We were just pretty fired up about and we decided we wanted to do something," says Leak.
The Kraft European version is colored naturally with paprika and beta carotene.
"But in the version in the United States, which this one is geared toward children and this one has cartoon characters, they use petroleum based dyes that are made in a laboratory and it's yellow number 5 and yellow number 6," says Hari.
According Leak and Hari, in Europe, those 2 ingredients require a warning label. To generate a conversation, they started a petition on Change.org and created a video. The petition received tens of thousands of signatures and the bloggers garnered national media attention.
Kraft posted a letter saying the FDA has approved both dyes they use and reminded consumers that they do offer several versions colored naturally here in the U.S. But Leake and Hari say that's not good enough.
"We would ultimately like all the artificial dyes removed starting with this product... hopefully that will lead to other changes with other products with other companies."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the two food dyes have been linked with hyperactivity and migraines in children.
News 5 brought this story to the attention of Dietitians at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs who say that Yellow dye #5 has also been associated with skin rash and aggravating asthma symptoms. They say to avoid food with dyes, just avoid overly processed foods.