Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kellogg's Answer About Artificial Colors Now a Softer Hue

While the junk food and chemical companies fight to keep the status quo in regard to our corrupt food supply, it just became evident to me that the tenor of the conversation may have irrevocably changed.

I called Kellogg's toll-free phone number this morning to ask why the company is still using petroleum-based artificial colors in its advertised-as-healthy Nutri-Grain cereal bars.

In the past, when I asked this question of junk food companies, I'd be given a stock answer along the lines of  "we have many products that appeal to many consumers," "consumers want brighter colors" or "the colors are approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]."

Since Pepperidge Farm (owned by Campbell Soup Company) has dropped the artificial colors from its colored goldfish and Yoplait (General Mills) has done the same from its Trix yogurt, I wondered where Kellogg's stood.

Expecting an evasive answer, I was met with surprise when the customer service representative I spoke with energetically told me—in response to my question that only asked about artificial colors—that "Kellogg's is definitely taking a look at moving away from GMOs [genetically modified organisms], artificial colors and artificial sweeteners. I can't give you a time frame, but these are things that Kellogg's is definitely trying to move away from."


Granted, Kellogg's may be blowing smoke up my bum while it still uses the artificial colors, but the fact that the above is now the scripted answer—instead of "we don't give a crap about you, your kids or the horse you rode in on"—is quite telling and hopefully a sign of better things to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Artificial colors in food and drug products are horrifying for parents of children with allergies. My son has an allergy to Red-40, and that took quite a while for us to figure out. GoGurt which was marketed to children, children's Motrin, and other children's drugs, also contained Red-40 when my son was younger, before we knew of his allergy. I recall telling one drug company representative over the phone that it was "unconscionable" to include these chemicals in products knowing they could affect children. Ten years later they are finally seeing the light. It is not enough to provide "allergy-free" medicines because as every parent knows, when a child is sick and you are rushing you may not be in the proper frame of mind to pay attention to what you purchase or give to your child, and you may not even realize that a chemical is affecting your child. In a conversation with Yoplait about GoGurt, I noted that the yogurts they marketed to adults did not contain artificial color, but GoGurt which was marketed to children did! These days, we avoid shopping in stores that sell products containing Red-40 (think major food chains), and my children almost routinely refuse medication for minor illnesses. I would say that is marketing strategy in the reverse!