Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

It may be “the cheesiest” but Kraft’s iconic Macaroni and Cheese is now the target of a campaign to get controversial artificial colors removed from the product’s ingredients.

The petition on Change.org was started just last week by two North Carolina food bloggers, Vani Hari of Foodbabe.com and Lisa Leake of 100daysofrealfood.com. And already 200,000 signatures have been gathered asking Kraft to eliminate the food dyes Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, reports the Guardian. “We have been surprised by the response. A week ago right now we had not even launched it, and now the amount of support it has got has taken us back,” said Leake.

Other countries where the popular Macaroni and Cheese products are sold do not contain the chemical food dyes, as regulations won’t allow them to be added. Kraft uses spices, including paprika, to achieve its bright yellow color instead, and Hari and Leake want the company to do the same in its U.S. offerings.

Hari and Leake conducted taste tests of the products on video, comparing the U.S. version with the dyes and the British version without. The bloggers said the tastes, textures and colors were identical, but the UK version poses less of a health risk than the one with the food dyes.

According to the Guardian, the bloggers chose the popular Kraft meal to point out how ingredients that are banned in other parts of the world are still found in products sold in the U.S. “We wanted to educate the American consumer and let them know what is in their food. We just picked an iconic food product to really get that message across,” said Hari.

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Image: cdharrison