Thursday, September 3, 2009

no artificial colors in kraft foods overseas, why here?

My newest column as the Houston Holistic Health Examiner deals with the buzz and rising dismay over Kraft Food Inc. using artificial colors in their products in the United States but not in places such as Europe and Australia.

Consumers there were upset about studies showing the negative health effects of artificial colors. This is not new news. In a paper that I wrote previously on artificial colors I pointed out that in 1968 Dr. Benjamin Feingold published a paper detailing how food additives were a source of allergic response in children. Unfortunately Dr. Feingold's work did not convince food manufacturers and 40 years later Kraft has finally decided to remove these chemicals from their products. But not in America. Probably not in many other countries either, especially developing nations. One can only assume that this is motivated by profit and an enormous lack of concern for the health of the very consumers of their products.

MomsRising.org is an organization that works to help promote a healthy, family-friend America. They are currently working on a campaign to convince Kraft that the American public does not want these chemicals in their pantry. You can help by signing the petition or writing a letter of your own.

Below is my letter to Ms. Rosenfeld:

"As a Nutrition Educator and the mother of two children who are sensitive to food coloring I am pleased to see that you have removed the artificial colorants and aspartame from your products sold in other countries. I feel that this was a responsible decision made in reaction to the demands of your consumers which highlights that KraftFoods has the ability to effect change in partnership with the requests of it's consumers. I am stunned, however, by your decision to continue to use these very chemical additives in the U.S. version of the same products.

There are a number of studies which underscore the health risks posed by synthetic additives, especially when it comes to the developing bodies of young children, a prime market for many of your products. Given the overwhelming reach of your company into the pantries across this country and around the world I would think that a response to such consumer requests should have prompted a revision in your manufacturing processes across the global market instead of merely in a few countries.

There is no need whatsoever for these ingredients, and indeed they are harmful to your consumers. I urge you and your company to be a responsible member of the global community, to care about the health of those who buy your products and make the same change that you did in Europe, Australia and other countries by removing artificial colorants, aspartame and other unhealthful chemical additives to the foodstuffs that you sell, not only in the United States, but around the world.

Sincerely,
Mira Dessy, NE"

photo by BrokenSphere courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

1 comment:

WordyDoodles said...

Thanks so much for posting this along with your letter. We appreciate it!

Anita, MomsRising.org