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Kraft Foods Takes Battle Over Mac n' Cheese Seriously

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If you've read any of the recent reports in the news, you'll see that a large number of children are diagnosed with ADHD each year and that many of these children are being given medications to cope with the problem (although there are some ethical issues that I recently blogged about). Well, what would you say to parents who say that their children are hyperactive because of a good ole' classic food staple like mac n' cheese? It's the truth, and Kraft, one of the biggest makers of the famous food product is taking these parents' complaints seriously.

Don't let anyone tell you that blogging isn't a serious form of reporting–true, it isn't up there with the big guys like the NYT, but it can still rouse the attention of many Internet surfers. That is just what a group of blogging parents did to get the attention of Kraft Inc. when they complained about two ingredients they claim are linked to hyperactivity in children. Two moms got another 270,000 parents to sign a petition asking Kraft to remove two food coloring additives, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, in their Kraft mac n' cheese and Kraft took them so seriously that they agreed to meet with them in person.

Artificial food dyes aren't used in other countries for products like mac n' cheese. For example, the same Kraft products in the UK use beta carotene and paprika to dye its mac n' cheese. Some research has shown that artificial food dyes may be linked to hyperactivity in children, and such dyes don't add any flavor to food. However, other research has shown that consumers will shun foods without any change in taste if the food doesn't have the color that is anticipated. The recent move by Kraft demonstrates that some companies want to keep up with consumer demands, or at least be perceived as giving a fig.