Yellow Dyes Staining Kraft’s Healthy Reputation

Food bloggers Lisa Leake (100 Days of Real Food) and Vani Hari (Food Babe) have the attention of moms everywhere with their petition to convince Kraft to stop using potentially harmful dyes in their classic Macaroni & Cheese.

The iconic childhood snack sold in the United States includes two dyes, yellow no. 5 and 6, which have been linked to dangerous side effects including hyperactivity in children, impaired learning and cancer.  These dyes are banned in many countries outside the U.S., including the United Kingdom where Kraft distributes a dye-free version of its products.

According to MSN, Kraft responded to the bloggers’ petition stating:

“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 U.S., we only use colors that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration,” Kraft spokeswoman Lynne Galia said in a statement.

Kraft offers dye-free products and natural alternatives to many of its popular food items to American consumers.  However, the bloggers believe the Kraft petition is part of a bigger movement to change the standard of health in the country.  The dye-included versions of Kraft products are less expensive than the healthier alternatives, and do not provide a warning for consumers that may be unaware of the health risk.

This brings up a question of legality vs. morality for Kraft.  Using additives that are legal but may be dangerous might not be against the law, but does that make it okay? Although there are alternatives offered, should Kraft be responsible to take more action based on the potential risk of its products?

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6 Responses to Yellow Dyes Staining Kraft’s Healthy Reputation

  1. Morgan Theys says:

    Blogging has become a major aspect in the journalism and PR world. Food bloggers Lisa Leake and Vani Hari caught moms by storm when they brought out the fact that Kraft uses yellow dyes in its famous macaroni and cheese. Interestingly enough, the Kraft meal in England does not contain these dyes because of the health issues it contains. Leake and Hari have brought forth a major issue in the ethics of Kraft. Using additives, although legal but potentially dangerous, should not be used is foods. Kraft should be responsible to take more action on the potential risk of its products. If dyes are illegal in some countries, then Kraft should make an extra effort to change the meals in the United States.

  2. Amy Villarreal says:

    I want to agree with moms standing up for their children and attempting to make this country healthier, but I ate a lot of Kraft Mac N’ Cheese as a child and so far I’m healthy. I do have to say that the statement by the Kraft spokeswoman does not help their case. A lot of food laws do not protect us as well as they should and are simply to keep big companies from spending more money. I think this poses a risk for how Kraft positions itself. It is a huge kid-oriented brand that is showing it doesn’t care much for children’s health. This is a bad move for Kraft.

  3. Danielle Chavez says:

    I think this is a question of Kraft’s social responsibility. Ideally, it’d be great to see a change in the makeup of their product. However, there are many companies that distribute products that aren’t the healthiest. Where is the petition against soda companies or candy companies?

  4. Clare Hahne says:

    This is a startling find. Another question that comes into play then is when and why the UK decided to ban these dyes in their food. One factor that I think is important to recognize is that Kraft confirmed that they do not believe that the dyes used in the food are harmful. If it does change its status by the FDA in the future, it is sure that Kraft will be singing a different tune.

  5. Montserrat Camacho De Anda says:

    I think this has nothing to do with law, but rather the morality of Kraft. It would be great if they did change their U.S. product. I mean they already have the same thing without the different dyes in the U.K., so it would favor them and make them more of a health-conscious company. But have we really been carefully looking at all the dyes we consume on a regular basis? I really doubt that our health can change by just changing the ingredients in our mac and cheese.

  6. Minda Elliott says:

    When you start to get into issues of legality vs. morality, unfortunately our society doesn’t necessarily have the highest standards. Look at how many tobacco companies still market and sell their products knowing full well how dangerous they are. The difference here is that Kraft does not advertise the risks associated with their products the way tobacco companies are forced (under law) to do. If and when the FDA decides these dyes are harmful to our health then I believe Kraft should and will do the right thing in removing the dyes or adding a warning. Until then, however, I don’t believe more warnings are fully necessary.

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