We all know that many of the foods that we eat have some less than desirable additives in them. Here is one that you may not expect! Dannon is under fire for using a color additive called carmine, which is insect based. That’s right, they use an additive that comes from insects. Now you may think, “Honey technically comes from insects too, so what is the big deal”. Carmine is created from the crushed bodies of beetles. Not quite the same is it?
The Center for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) believes that this is a terrible thing for the customers of Dannon. They expressed concern that it would offend vegetarians and would also gross customers out. A rep from Dannon stated that carmine is listed as an ingredient on the flavors that they have put it in, so if someone wishes to avoid it, they can. Carmine is put into more than 7 of the different Dannon branded yogurts at this time including the strawberry, boysenberry, cherry, and raspberry flavors of “Fruit on the Bottom”, the blueberry “Light and Fit Greek”, the strawberry flavor of the Oiko’s Greek, and the pomegranate of the “Light and Fit” variety.
CSPI is questioning why Dannon is using carmine when plant based colorings are so much safer and definitely less disgusting. The FDA approves the use of carmine as a natural substance and exempts it from stringent rules.
Dannon is not the first company that is under fire for the use of carmine. Starbucks got into hot water last year for including this additive in its Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino and other strawberry flavored beverages. Because of all of the bad press they got rid of the carmine and used lycopene instead, which is tomato-based.