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Kraft Meets with Bloggers over Its Use of Controversial Dyes in Mac n' Cheese

Update Date: Apr 02, 2013 03:10 PM EDT
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Two food bloggers met yesterday with Kraft Foods to discuss the ingredients in their iconic Mac and Cheese product - and no, it was not an April Fool's joke.

According to the Chicago Tribune, food bloggers Vani Hari, writer for "Food Babe", and Lisa Leake, of "100 Days of Food" made headlines last month when they teamed up to post a petition on Change.org.

Their demand was that Kraft Foods remove two controversial additives from the product: yellow #5 and yellow #6. They say that many people have attempted to petition the Food and Drug Administration on related matters, to no avail. The only way to create change is through the companies directly.

According to The Guardian, the dyes have been linked to asthma, migraines and hyperactivity in children. In other countries in Europe, the product has needed to conform to regulations created banning the dye. The bloggers add that 14 other mac and cheese products created by the company, in the United States, do not have these dyes. However, Hari says that those products are often too hard to find.

The petition struck a chord with many, garnering 270,000 signatures. The bloggers presented the petition to the company during their hour-long meeting.

However, it is unclear what Kraft plans to do as a result. They say that they properly follow all guidelines and regulations in all of the countries that they serve, noting that yellow #5 and #6 are deemed acceptable for human consumption by the FDA.

 "I said that while I can't speculate on the future, as we consider new products, we'll keep listening to our consumers," Kraft spokeswoman Lynne Galia, who attended the meeting, said to the Guardian.

Hari conducted a tasting with the United Kingdom's and the United States' version of the product yesterday.

In recent years, many companies have received more attention than they bargained for, from social media. Last year, a student received 200,000 signatures for a petition asking Gatorade to remove an additive; Gatorade has since said that they are phasing it out, but that the move is unrelated to the petition.

"When we started our petition we knew we wouldn't be able to change Kraft's position overnight. This campaign is one piece of a large-scale food revolution," Lisa Leake said.

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