Food blogger Vani Hari (www.foodbabe.com), from Charlotte, N.C., rallied the troops Monday in Chicago before heading over to Kraft headquarters for a sit down to talk about "dumping the dyes" from the iconic brand's U.S. Mac and Cheese.
"In the U.K., Kraft reformulated the product without artificial dyes," Hari said.
Mac and Cheese across the pond is made with paprika and beta carotene. In the U.S., Kraft uses Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. Hari's research shows the dyes are made from petroleum in labs and that process leads to carcinogen contamination, which can cause cancer. Some studies have also shown artificial dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children.
Hari gathered 275,000 signatures from concerned consumers. Kraft's response to using dyes in Mac and Cheese? Hari said they told her, "'We can't predict the future.'"
Kraft didn't respond to our request for comment. And Hari says most of her questions at the meeting went unanswered. She said she asked, "'Why did you re-formulate Kraft Mac and Cheese overseas but not here?' She (the Kraft executive) couldn't answer that question, either."
After about an hour, Hari said the meeting ended. But her disappointment in Kraft's lackluster response is actually giving her hope. "What companies do is they say, 'no, no, no, no,' right before they say 'yes,'" Hari said.