Cereal Bar Comparison

The news that the Food and Drug Administration, in response to CSPI’s 2008 petition will convene an advisory committee meeting to discuss the link between food dyes and children’s behavior is welcome and overdue. Yellow 5, Red 40, and other commonly used food dyes have long been shown in numerous clinical studies to impair children’s behavior. But for years, FDA—which actually commissioned one of the first controlled studies—dismissed the mounting evidence against the dyes.  Fast forward ahead to 2011 and the FDA finally held their hearing.  In a close vote of 4 to 3, warning labels were shot down but there is agreement that more research needs to be done.

I love visuals.  This is one of the first visuals I saw when I started to research artificial colors like Red 40 and how they can effect you. 
You see two packages for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal bars. One is made here for us. The other is made in the UK for Europeans. Both use food coloring.  In the UK, the coloring is achieved using beet root. But in the US, the coloring is Red No. 40, a dye that has been associated with hyperactivity, and some types of cancer.
Why not use the beet root? The answer is that Kellogg’s probably saves half a penny on each bar using an artificial dye rather than using a natural one.
So why does Kellogg’s use the beets in Europe? Because in Europe the regulator has required WARNING LABELS on products with Red 40. Just like cigarettes. Kellogg’s did the bottom line calculation and decided the loss in sales would cause much more damage than the savings on the food dye.

C'mon US.  Why are we so behind on this issue?

Here is the U.S. ingredient list:
Filling (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Strawberry Puree Concentrate, Glycerin, Sugar, Water, Sodium Alginate, Modified Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Methylcellulose, Caramel Color, Malic Acid, Red No. 40), Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Whole Wheat Flour, Sunflower and/or Soybean Oil with TBHQ for Freshness, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Contains Two Percent or Less of Honey, Dextrose, Calcium Carbonate, Soluble Corn Fiber, Nonfat Dry Milk, Wheat Bran, Salt, Cellulose, Potassium Bicarbonate (Leavening), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mono- and Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Soy Lecithin, Wheat Gluten, Niacinamide, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Carrageenan, Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Guar Gum, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid.

1 comment:

  1. Yea, why not use beet? The colour is unbelievably vibrant. I can never get over the redness of this root. BTW, I've given you something. Hop by my blog to check it out.


mom said, you can talk back