Two Charlotte women have attracted international attention with a campaign to get Kraft to remove artificial dyes from its packaged macaroni and cheese.
Blogger Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food started a petition on the website www.change.org with food blogger Vani Hari, who writes and tweets under the name the Food Babe.
Earlier in the week, Leake and Hari put up a petition asking Kraft to remove artificial food dyes from its product. By Thursday afternoon, the petition had received 55,584 supporters, 19,416 short of the 75,000 goal.
Leake got interested in the Kraft ingredients after Hari wrote a blog post on American products that are manufactured differently for the European market to meet restrictions on additives.
After getting a package from a friend in England, the women cooked the two and compared ingredients. In the English version, yellow dyes 5 and 6 are replaced with beta carotene and paprika.
Yellow dyes 5 and 6 are legal and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But some groups, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, have raised questions about their safety, citing studies that show possible links to hyperactivity in children and adrenal and testicular tumors.
In a statement Thursday, a Kraft representative noted that the company only uses colors that are approved and considered safe by the FDA, and that the company does make versions of its products that are made without artificial food dyes. Observer staff writer Kathleen Purvis contributed.
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