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Moms vs. Kraft Mac and Cheese

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  • Moms vs. Kraft Mac and Cheese

    There's been some discussion in a few Forum threads about food additives and their effects on the complex neurology of TS+.
    In the U.S.A., two moms are taking on Kraft and their famous macaroni and cheese for their use of the additives -- yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6.
    They claim hat in addition to hyperactivity, these dyes can have a "negative impact on children's ability to learn."
    The moms do not cite any research or data to prove these claims.
    However, I thought it might be interesting to include their fight for change in the food industry to the TSFC Forum.

    A video on this issue was posted by CNN.
    Moms vs. Kraft Mac and Cheese
    CNN|Added on March 15, 2013
    Two moms petition Kraft to remove two ingredients from its Mac and Cheese, citing its dangers. Elizabeth Cohen reports.

    Here's a report from ABC News that is a week older:
    Mom to Kraft: Take Yellow Dye Out of Mac and Cheese
    March 7, 2013

    Lisa Leake's children used to love the taste of Kraft's Mac & Cheese, the bright orange pasta that comes in the signature blue box. But she began to worry about the additives -- yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6, which she says add nothing to the flavor and may be dangerous to kids' health.

    Leake and fellow North Carolina food blogger Vani Hari did some investigating and found that Kraft makes the same Mac & Cheese for its consumers in the United Kingdom, but because of stricter rules regarding additives, it is dye-free.

    There, Kraft uses natural beta carotene and paprika to make it almost the same color.

    Leake and Hari say the yellow dye serves only "aesthetic purposes." They say they worry that food colorings have been associated with hyperactivity in children, allergies, migraine and, because yellow dyes are petroleum-based, maybe cancer.

    Now the two women have posted a petition on, asking Kraft to offer Americans the same additive-free Mac & Cheese they sell in Europe. So far, the petition has 25,000 signatures and growing.


    Knowing that some Americans "prefer foods without certain ingredients," Kraft said it provides at least 14 other Mac & Cheese products without added colors and with natural food colors.

    The yellow dyes have been banned in countries like Norway and Austria and are being phased out in the United Kingdom, according to the petition.

    "We both grew up eating this product, Lisa used to feed it to her kids, and it's available at almost every grocery store across the country," said Hari in the petition. "Our kids deserve the same safer version that our friends get overseas."

    Leake and Hari say in their petition that in addition to hyperactivity, these dyes can have a "negative impact on children's ability to learn."
    Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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  • #2
    Re: Moms vs. Kraft Mac and Cheese

    Here's a Canadian perspective on this story from CBC News.
    There is a poll asking for your opinion: Are you concerned about artificial food colourings?
    And there is also a video clip of Vani and Lisa on the Dr. Oz Show.

    Food bloggers' petition to remove dyes in Kraft Dinner boils over
    by Jonathan Ore Posted: March 15, 2013 8:29 PM Last Updated: March 15, 2013 8:56 PM Read 12 comments12
    CBC News Your Community Blog, Categories: Health

    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 and Lisa Leake of launched a petition on 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.
    Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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    • #3
      Re: Moms vs. Kraft Mac and Cheese

      Update: as of Thursday, March 27, the petition had garnered more than 270,000 signatures — 25,000 signatures belong to Canadians.
      Petition targets Kraft Dinner’s use of dyes
      By: Victoria Ptashnick News reporter, Published on Fri Mar 29 2013

      From the end of this article:

      Health Canada says the dye [tartrazine, or yellow #5 and #6 ] is legal and, as with other food additives, has undergone a safety assessment test.

      “Although the available scientific data indicate that tartrazine does not pose a public health concern when used in foods according to the conditions specified in the List of Permitted Colouring Agents, Health Canada recognizes that some individuals may be sensitive to tartrazine or certain other food colours and that declaration of these colours by name in the list of ingredients would help them with making food choices,” said Sean Upton, a senior media relations officer at Health Canada.

      Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations require that food additives be declared in the list of ingredients on most prepackaged foods, said Upton. In the case of colours, manufacturers have the option of declaring colours by name or by the general term “colour.”

      In Canada, the maximum amount of tartrazine allowed in a product is 300 p.p.m. (parts per million). On the Kraft Dinner box, no amount is given but “contains tartrazine” is listed under ingredients.

      Upton said Health Canada reviews any new scientific information that becomes available about permitted food additives. If a health risk is identified as a result of re-evaluating on an already-approved additive, the department will take action.
      Tina, Forum Moderator, TSFC Staff Liaison

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