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March 15th, 2013
09:50 AM ET

Food bloggers Vani Hari & Lisa Leake take on Kraft to remove yellow color dye from its Mac and Cheese

A health story of growing interest this week has moms on alert for a staple food in the diets of thousands of children. Two women are taking on Kraft, asking them to change their Macaroni and Cheese. Vani Hari and Lisa Leake are food bloggers leading a campaign and petition on to get Kraft to remove two color dye ingredients from their beloved Macaroni and Cheese.

Their online petition states: "We recently discovered that several American products are using harmful additives that are not used—and in some cases banned—in other countries. [...] Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the US contains the artificial food dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. These unnecessary—yet potentially harmful—dyes are not in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in other countries, including the UK, because they were removed due to consumer outcry."

Lisa Leake, a mom and blogger, and Vani Hari, an aunt and blogger, both share the reasons for their campaign on “Starting Point” this morning.

The bloggers say their aim was not to target Kraft alone. “These are American companies using ingredients in our food that are not used, and in some cases banned elsewhere. And we decided we needed to do something about it,” Lisa Leake says. “We strategically picked Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, an iconic food product, trying to get our message across.” That message is that these unnecessary artificial food dyes are being used for cosmetic reasons only and pose health risks. “And we'd like to get them to get them out of our food.”

Hari says they picked Kraft to send that message more effectively. "We didn't just pick Kraft for no reason. They are the largest food company headquartered in the United States," Hari explains. "They have the largest footprint to actually be the leader here."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. David

    This is absurd. The whole basis of justification is that 'other countries have bans' on the chemicals? The UK banned the dyes because of a weak research study they conducted. Their study lacked randomization, specific variables, and most of all science! Remember it was America, the only country, that denied the application to sale Thalidomide in the United States because of good science conducted by a good scientist. I encourage you to educate yourselves more on the chemicals involved through a scientific approach instead of a fanatical blogger rampage. You can start with justlikecooking's blog on blogspot.

    March 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Meg

    Why did CNN edit out the last part of this video from what was in the live version? Play the whole video, not an edited version with her last point cut out. You can see the full and unedited version on foodbabe's website.

    March 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Christy Garland

    I would like to express my support of this article and the awareness it's bringing. One thing I didn't see emphasized enough in this story was the fact that Kraft Foods has already removed this dye (or it was never there to begin with) in the U.K. This means there shouldn't be any, or very little at all, research or product development needed to remove it from the product here in the U.S. The only reason I can imagine that would prevent them from removing here is that it would affect their profit margins. Is this a reasonable justification for not removing these ingredients when it could make such a difference for so many people? It astounds me that it takes a petition and public outcry to even begin the discussion about having these removed. If Kraft truly cared about the consumer and making a quality product these ingredients would have been removed when the U.K. version was created without them. Thank you for your time.
    Christy Garland

    March 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. renee

    It would have been nice if the reporters would have been more supportive to these women. I was astounded at the rudeness they displayed. This cause is very worthwhile; how can America continue allowing harmful additives in our food while the health and safety of all citizens are at stake? I hope that these food companies will listen to the citizens' cry for safer, healthier food.

    March 15, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse | Reply

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