The Coca Cola Co (Vitaminwater) is not the only food & beverage company falling under much scrutiny from the Center for Science in the Public Interest this week as the (CSPI) has its sights on the well-known maker of yogurt, Dannon. In fact, consumers may take alarm at what the CSPI is questioning about the yogurt brand that we are so acquainted with and fond of.
The CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) is giving Dannon grief over the fact that the company uses carmine in some of its types of yogurts to give them the reddish-pinkish tint. Carmine is an additive that is derived from crushed cochineal beetles which provides the red and pink colors associated with some various flavors of yogurts that Dannon produces.
These types of yogurts include carmine in the cherry, raspberry, boysenberry, and strawberry flavors of their fruit on the bottom yogurts. In addition, Dannon uses carmine in several flavors of its light and fit line, and also some flavors of its popular Activia yogurt brand.
Dannon representative, Michael J. Neuwirth defended the Dannon Company in this statement he made to the Huffingtom Post recently,
“Any of our products that contain carmine clearly list it as an ingredient. Anyone who wishes to avoid it can. Those with dietary restrictions and allergies are accustomed to reading ingredient lists. Dannon goes above and beyond the industry’s labeling norm, which is to list color additives like carmine as natural color. There’s no question of transparency here. “”
However, in opposition to Neuwirth’s statement, Michael F. Jacobson Executive Director of CSPI reponded with:
“Given the fact that … [it's] easy to use safer, plant-based colors, why would Dannon use it at all? Why risk offending vegetarians and grossing out your other customers?”
Even though the Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA) lists carmine as a natural color additive in foods, the CSPI feels that Dannon should remove it from their various types of yogurts and use different color additives instead to provide the pigment desired for the different flavors that need coloring.
In order to address this problem, the CSPI has even launched a campaign which they are sponsoring through the online website Takepark.com.
The CSPI is claiming that this is deceiving to consumers that may not be aware that they are consuming yogurt that contains insect parts in the ingredients. In addition, this ingredient can also pose problems on consumers who may have restrictions in their diet, may be prone to allergies or that are vegetarian.