Dannon Under Public Fire For Using Bugs In Their Red Colored Yogurts [Video]

Dannon has come under public fire for using bugs in their red coloring for a few of their yogurt lines.

According to The Huffington Post, Dannon produced the bright red hue of some of its yogurt not only with fruits, but with carmine, a color additive made with the crushed bodies of cochineal beetles.

The report continues on to say that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), believes many consumers are unaware they have consumed an insect-based ingredient.

Strawberry, Cherry, Boysenberry and Raspberry flavors of Dannon’s “Fruit on the Bottom” line get their color from this insect-based dye according to UPI.

According to UPI:

“Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the CSPI in Washington, said that the CSPI’s chemical Cuisine guide to food additives says certain people should avoid” carmine since a small percentage of consumers can have reactions ranging from hives to anaphylactic shock after eating it.”

The Huffington Post also states that the ingredient could prove problematic for vegetarians or consumers with dietary restrictions.

The Huffington Post report continued on to say:

“According to various company websites, Dannon uses carmine in the strawberry, cherry, boysenberry and raspberry flavors of its “Fruit on the Bottom” line; the strawberry flavor of its Oiko’s brand Greek yogurt; the pomegranate berry flavor of its “Light and Fit” yogurt; the blueberry flavor of its “Light and Fit Greek” yogurt; as well as several flavors of its Activia brand yogurts.”

Dannon’s senior director of public relations, Michael J. Neuwirth told the Huffington Post that their products that make use of carmine are clearly labeled. “Anyone who wishes to avoid it can.”

Neuwirth said he believes Dannon goes above and beyond the industry’s labeling norm, which he said is to list color additives like carmine as “natural color.” “There’s no question of transparency here.”

While the FDA considers carmine a natural color additive, CSPI believes that Dannon should replace carmin with color from the fruits advertised or other plant-based colors.

What do you think of Dannon’s use of carmine, a product produced by the cochineal bug, to create the red coloring for their red yogurt?

[Image via Shutterstock/Tyler Olson]