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Kellogg’s & General Mills, It’s Time To Provide A Date! When are you dropping BHT?

I am completely astounded with the incredible work we are doing. I can’t thank you all enough for your amazing activism and support on our campaign to get BHT out of cereal! More than 30,000 of you signed this petition in the first 24 hours and we started making headlines and received some amazing news coverage:

NEW York Observer

The President and Cofounder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Ken Cook, is thrilled as well and had this to say:

“Big food companies have abused America’s food system for decades and have had government watchdogs crate trained for years. They do it for money and without regard to people’s health. Now consumers have the power to crowdsource the kind of regulatory common sense we need to clean up our food. Vani Hari is in the vanguard of this movement. We congratulate her and the Food Babe Army on today’s victory and we look forward to more campaigns with her in the days ahead.” ~ Ken Cook, EWG

I still have not received a response to our petition directly from Kellogg’s or General Mills. But mere hours after our petition launched on Thursday, General Mills pounced to claim they are “well down the path” of removing BHT.

That’s record time! You are such a powerful force, Food Babe Army!

Just a couple weeks before launching the petition (on January 21st), General Mills emailed me back claiming BHT was completely safe and not to worry – arguing in the letter for its utmost safety! They told me, “Though its use is minimal, there have been several misunderstandings and concerns about the safety of BHT”.  They even admitted in the email that some research indicates that BHT enhances the effects of carcinogens, but maintained that the FDA is convinced that it has no adverse effect on human health. Not once did they mention any plans to remove BHT from their cereals. I knew what they were telling me about the safety of BHT was extremely misleading based on my research and EWG’s stance on that chemical, so I started a petition to get my voice heard. I had been writing about this additive since 2013 and clearly they were not listening. 

General Mills is telling the media one thing, and their customers another.

The day after we launched the petition, General Mills customer service was still sending out emails claiming the BHT in their cereal is safe, with no mention of plans to remove it. I am surprised and a bit amused by General Mills claim that removal of this risky ingredient has been already in the works for a year. I understand from a business and legal perspective that this is their response, though I question the legitimacy of it taking so long to remove an ingredient they have already removed for citizens in other countries. They certainly can’t give us credit for the change publicly – that would make us way too powerful and admit fault on behalf of the company – something they would never do, especially when it comes to safety of an ingredient. Why is it taking so long for General Mills to remove a chemical they already don’t use in Europe? When will children get to stop eating this unnecessary but potentially harmful additive in their cereals? 

I can’t help but wonder what’s going on behind closed doors at Kellogg’s right now.

Kellogg’s is telling reporters that they are “actively testing natural alternatives” to BHT. Again, they still haven’t contacted me directly, and I have been unable to confirm this information. We contacted Kellogg’s in the U.K. prior to launching this petition and Kellogg’s U.K. confirmed that BHT is not added to their cereals or to the packaging of any of their cereals in their country. In fact, they said they don’t use BHT in any of their products. 

So, what “testing” is needed? Kellogg’s already sells these BHT-free cereals in the U.K.:

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (UK): Rice, Sugar, Salt, Barley Malt Flavouring, Vitamins & Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

Rice Krispies-2

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (UK): Maize, Sugar, Barley Malt Flavouring, Salt, Vitamins & Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies (Cocoa Pops UK): Rice, Sugar, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Cocoa Mass, Salt, Barley Malt Flavouring, Flavouring, Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

Kellogg’s Krave Chocolate (UK): Cereal Flours (Wheat, Oat, Rice), Milk Chocolate Flavoured Filling (Milk Chocolate 14% {Sugar, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Mass}, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm, Sunflower, Rapeseed), Bulking Agent {Calcium Carbonate}, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Emulsifier {Soy Lecithin}, Acid {Citric Acid}, Flavouring, Antioxidant {Tocopherol Rich Extract}), Sugar, Salt, Colour (Carotenes, Annatto), Antioxidant (Ascorbyl Palmitate, Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamins & Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12

Kellogg’s Froot Loops (UK): Cereal Flours (Oat, Wheat, Maize), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Salt, Natural Citrus Flavouring with other Natural Flavourings, Plant Extracts (Nettle, Spinach), Fruit and Vegetable Extracts (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colour (Paprika Extract), Vitamins & Minerals: Tricalcium Phosphate, Vitamin C, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats (Frosted Wheats UK): Shredded Whole wheat, Sugar, Humectant (Sorbitol), Beef Gelatin, Vitamins & Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (Frosties UK): Maize, Sugar, Barley Malt Flavouring, Salt, Vitamins & Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

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Kellogg’s Honey Pops (UK): Cereal Flours (Rice, Oat, Maize), Sugar, Inulin, Honey, Glucose Syrup, Salt, Colour (Paprika), Flavouring, Antioxidants (Ascorbyl Palmitate, Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamins & Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12

Kellogg’s Special K Chocolate (UK): Rice, Whole wheat, Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Skimmed Milk Powder, Emulsifier {Soy Lecithin}, Flavouring), Sugar, Barley, Malted Barley Flour, Barley Malt Flavouring , Salt, Vitamins & Minerals: Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12

Without even going into the fact that those cereals are also free from artificial colors and GMOs, there is no reason to “test” natural alternatives to BHT. Kellogg’s formula is right there, tested and approved in the European market, and there’s nothing stopping them from providing these same BHT-free cereals here in the U.S. Why can’t they just send an email to their colleagues overseas and get the scoop? Seems kinda silly this is happening, doesn’t it?

Our next move: Ask Kellogg’s and General Mills to provide us with a date. 

I am thrilled that both of these companies have apparent plans to get BHT out of their cereals. This is a huge win for the Food Babe Army! This shows how fast companies can react when we demand safer products together.  But they still have no explanation as to when this change will be made, and if they’ve truly been working on it, how much longer should this really take? They already know the formula, what else could they possibly need!?

RiskyTimelineFacebook

Until they remove the BHT, or announce the date that BHT will be removed, let’s keep this petition going and keep the pressure on. Ask your friends to sign the petition, contact them via phone, email, and on social media and ask them for a date:

One little phone call could make a huge difference for millions of children and Americans. I hope you can call today. 

Xo,

Vani  

 

P.S. I’m heading to NYC today for the release of The Food Babe Way – I hope you’ll pick up your copy this week! It’ll be in stores everywhere starting Tuesday! (but if you pre-order before tonight at midnight – there are some amazing bonuses!). This book is full of investigations that you don’t want to miss! Supporting this book, supports this movement – so thank you! Get it here:

 

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101 responses to “Kellogg’s & General Mills, It’s Time To Provide A Date! When are you dropping BHT?

  1. The ultimate answer? Stop buying the crap. I feel like you are fighting a battle against garbage food that should really just be shut down altogether. The only way to do that is to tell people to stop buying it. You obviously have the following to start putting a dent in their profits, so do that instead! I love your posts regarding organic alternatives, I just wish that reached as many ears as this stuff seems to. I know I may be a minority here, but I don’t support these companies at all, in the hopes that more will follow and shut them down for good. It’s all about profits and that will never change as long as they continue to operate. There will never be a true sense of “We care for the health of our customer” when there are millions to be made. Big food and big pharma have too much money to make by feeding us GMOs and chemicals. The good news is that you can beat this on your own by giving it up! As always, good luck.

    1. Exactly! People talk about not being able to afford healthy food and yet they spend money (and a good deal of it) on this kind of crap. Any time a food has to be “enriched” with chemical nutrients, you can bet it isn’t healthful. I know working moms and dads also don’t have time to cook breakfast but really you don’t have to in order to have a healthy breakfast ready and save both time and money as well as avoiding all the risks of this kind of so-called food. Cook up a pot of rice, or oatmeal, or millet and just reheat in the microwave or even just soak some rolled oats in milk (preferably plant-based) overnight and it will be ready to eat in the morning. Yeah the kids might complain, but if that’s all there is, they’ll get over it. They might even like it better.

    2. I am with you all the way. NO processed foods. Even though I made the transitions years ago some people have no clue. I see this as a starting point to reach the mass population so I called both General Mills and Kelloggs. Kelloggs rep actually told me this FDA approved chemical is used in cereals AND THE PLASTIC BAGS IN THE BOX! So even if it’s not an ingredient in the product it is in the packaging leeching into the food. It feels like amputation of a limb one knuckle at a time!

    3. I agree with your sentiment entirely Joe. I don’t eat this sugar and chemical ladened cereal, but simply telling people to stop eating it isn’t going to work.
      People eat all sorts of crap because they like it, or it gives them the sugar rush they need at 3.00pm, or it satiates a particular desire – even though they know full well that it’s bad for them, or it’ll make/keep them obese.
      What Vani is doing it working within the current parameters of society. ie – people are going to eat this stuff, so lets make it as chemical free and high quality as possible.
      Until this stuff is no longer in existence, this is the only way to go.

  2. I stopped buying cereal a couple of years ago when I came across a homemade cereal recipe that my family and I just love. I roast nuts with rolled oats and a bit of honey and then add chia seeds, hemp seeds, dried cranberries, and flaked coconut. I only need about 3 -4 tablespoons of this mix with a bit of almond milk to keep me full all morning. The packaged stuff is not real food – as others have commented, we just need to stop buying this stuff and eat what God has provided. Thanks for all you do Vani!

  3. Thanks Vani for fighting so hard and being in the trenches for all of us. “…do not grow weary in well doing for in good season you will reap a reward if you do not loose heart….” This is a great start as is the GMO battle I know you are fighting as well. We are all in this together and we must all do our part to cripple the enemies of our health. I’m in it with you for the long haul!! Your book is being delivered today!! WHOOT WHOOT!!! READ THOSE LABELS PEOPLE!!

  4. Hi Vani! Do you think organic cereals which do NOT contain BHT should label themselves as such with “NO BHT” printed on the box?

  5. Thank you for your help making my transition to organic food easier. I started last year but haven’t fully succeeded. I am learning so much from reading all of your emails. I am hoping to grow my own vegetables and fruit this summer to help. God bless you for doing your part to help people eat healthy food and having the courage to take on these big rich companies that don’t care about our health.

  6. Dear Vani,
    I am so proud of you for taking this on, as I had given up all of these cereals because of the BHT. I just don’t understand how they can produce these products and feed them to children and sleep at night. Great job to you and your team. You are my heroes.
    Also received your new book today and I am so excited to get started on it.
    Now I hope you will help to get rid of carrageenan, found in hot cocoa, all chocolate milks, most all cottage cheese, most ice creams and I was so saddened to find it in my probiotic capsules and yogurt , just to name a few.
    Thank you so much to you and your team. You are the BEST!!!

  7. I don’t buy any of this garbage cereal either. It does not make any sense why they can’t make it the same here in the U.S., they have the formula and make it in the UK without BHT, no artificial colors, and no GMOs for a while now, they are full of crap saying they need to test other natural alternatives, all the proof and formula for the UK ingredients is right here, how could they even have a response like this when presented with this material, WE ARE NOT DUMB Kellogg’s & General Mills!! It really makes me mad, what a line of bull. Sounds to me they are hiding something else. I would never trust these brands ever, after reading this, I even re-read it and was shocked by there stupidity in the matter, it just doesn’t add up. And to see that they don’t have any BHT in any of the products in the UK, leaves me shaking my head. Shame on you Kellogg’s & General Mills, We deserve better!

  8. Here is the canned response I got back from Kellogg’s : The use of ingredients varies widely across the globe due to regional tastes. BHT is approved for use in many foods in many countries, such as, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea and China. As a food company, our intent is to be diligent and follow all regulations within any country in which our foods are sold, always striving to balance quality, taste and price, but never at the expense of safety. We know people are looking for options without BHT and we have been actively testing a number of natural alternatives to ensure the same flavor and freshness. Because we’re still actively testing a number of alternatives, we don’t yet know the timing.

    V

  9. I applaud all your progress.. Though, I never celebrate a victory, until the battle is over. Just because they claim “they’re well down the path” to remove it, doesn’t mean they are going to. Keep the pressure on until the prize is won!

  10. I have been reading The book The Food Babe Way and it is a very informative and truly fascinting about the foods we think are natural and healthy, and they are not, which the food industries believed they could get away with, but now it has caught up with them! Miss Van Hari, i congratulate you with your crusade for truth against these so called industries that pollute our foods, our health, our children and our society, i am pleased to be part of your site, and as a concerned citizen i am for ‘truth’ and the truth is hurting these food industies, one man i will quote , it was a very long time ago, Truth, not lies, Tolstoy!

  11. Folks need to know what the alternative products are, so they can stop buying the bad processed foods. We also need to pressure the grocery markets to stop carrying the worst of these processed foods/cereals. ???Should grocery markets be held accountable for the state of America’s health?
    Also…Americans need to stop pinching their pennies when it comes to food. Buying by the lower cost is no way to feed your families body and brain!
    Bulk foods at health food stores and co-ops can accomplish both the lower cost, and the higher nutrition. Shop nutrition value, not cost or calories!
    Pressure the food pantries to improve what they carry. Perhaps they could buy bulk organic short grain brown rice and re-package into 2 pound bags.

  12. As already posted, we need to speak with the choices we make. When more and more people buy organic and refuse to eat chemical and sugar laden foods, the food industry will begin to wake up.

  13. Hey there Food babe! I wasn’t sure how to contact you. Just wondering if you can email me back a response

    Wondering if you have considered doing the food babe on CD. Or making any DVDs? I ask because my grandmother is 76 years old and cannot read. My grandmother started working at a young age in Taiwan to provide for her family and was never able to go to school. I would like to get her to learn about the dangers in food, but she is also 1700 miles away. If you can email me, that would be great or even a quick response here as well works! Thanks so much for all u do!

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