Kraft Petition Delivery Speech Transcript
This is a transcript of the speeches outside Kraft’s Headquarters before delivering the petitions.
PULIN MODI from Change.org
Thanks for joining us today. My name is Pulin Modi and I’m a Senior Campaigner at Change.org. Change.org empowers anyone, anywhere to start and win campaigns on issues that are important to them.
There are more than 30 million users in 196 countries who use our tools to transform their communities – locally, nationally and globally. Each month, more than 2 million new users join Change.org and more than 15,000 petitions are launched on our platform.
At the heart of the strongest campaigns — the ones that we really see take off on the site — are strong personal stories. Like two friends working together to inspire individuals, families, and companies in a movement for healthier eating.
Kraft’s Mac & Cheese is an iconic brand found in many homes. Although it may not be known as a health food, people still want to make healthier choices for their families — that’s why Vani Hari and Lisa Leake’s petition has taken off.
In just a month, they have received 275,000 signatures from consumers across the US and Canada who felt a personal connection to this campaign. Thousands of comments were left by people who want Kraft to remove artificial dyes Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 from the company’s line of Mac & Cheese products.
Here are some examples of what people are saying:
Afreen Pappa from Houston, TX said: “As a physician I have seen both in my patients and my children the adverse effects artificial food colors, preservatives and flavor enhancers have on health. Most of these food additives do not go through any rigorous testing (unlike pharmaceutical drugs – and yet we still see drugs being pulled from the market due to adverse effects once they hit the general population). Our bodies were designed to properly utilize and eliminate real food; not chemistry experiments.”
Tina Kincaid from Brighton, CO said: My kids love Kraft Mac and Cheese and I refuse to purchase it again until they remove these additives. Kraft needs to be more responsible for the role they play in everyone’s health. We should be able to trust a big company like Kraft
not to physically hurt us for their own benefit.”
You can read thousands of other inspiring comments on Vani and Lisa’s petition at change.org/kraftyellow.
What started as a simple idea — to make Kraft’s Mac & Cheese healthier for the average consumer, and especially kids — has turned into a movement with over 275,000 passionate supporters.
So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce Vani Hari of foodbabe.com.
Hi everyone Thank you for being here. I very much appreciate you taking the time today to be a part of this. I’m Vani Hari, and I write at foodbabe.com. Vani means “voice” in my native language and I’m very honored to be here to share over 275,000 voices with Kraft in person today.
As you can see, Lisa Leake of 100DaysOfRealFood.com, who co-authored this petition with me was unable to be here today due to family obligations, but she asked me to read this statement on her behalf.
ON BEHALF OF LISA LEAKE
Thank you for listening to our story. We appreciate the support of the 275,000 people who signed this petition at Change.org/KraftYellow. And we know that millions of consumers are aware of the problems associated with these artificial dyes as a result of this campaign.
I really do hope Kraft will agree to sit down and speak with us. As a mother and an advocate of healthy eating, I believe this is an issue that is only just beginning to get the attention it deserves. A report called Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks by the Center for Science in the Public Interest goes into detail about these artificial dyes and how they are linked to carcinogens, hyperactivity in children, and other findings which should raise a red flag for every conscious consumer.
Every version of this Mac & Cheese line that is geared toward children, with cartoon characters and phrases like “cheddar explosion,” all contain petroleum-based yellow #5 and yellow #6. Many parents trust what’s on the grocery store shelves and don’t realize that these unnecessary dyes – which are for cosmetic purposes only – may be the culprit when it comes to their child’s hyperactivity and other health issues.
Since Kraft voluntarily started using natural dyes – paprika and beta carotene – in their Cheesey Pasta in the UK I believe they can do the same here in the US. If Kraft leads the way with this change they will be able to offer a better, safer version of their signature product, and help regain the trust of the 275,000 people who have signed this petition — as well as the millions more around the world who have been hearing about this controversy.
VANI HARI’s CLOSING THOUGHTS
I would like to add to Lisa’s statement. I hope to meet with someone from Kraft today to discuss removing these controversial dyes from their line of Mac & Cheese products. Standing here just feet away from where their executives sit, I can only hope that I’ve made it easy enough for them to discuss this serious issue with me — in person.
We have reached out to various executives at Kraft since day 1 of our petition through emails, voicemails and tweets. They have yet to respond directly to us, but we’re hoping to start a dialogue today.
Last week, Kraft released a claim that their customers don’t want them to make changes to this iconic product. I have a hard time imagining who these consumers are that Kraft says “won’t settle for anything less” than Mac & Cheese with extra chemicals, especially when we’ve been joined by more than a quarter of a million consumers who are asking Kraft to dump the artificial dyes. And I’m not sure why Kraft is trying to convince us that pumping children with petroleum is what Americans want.
We are not asking Kraft to change the color — we just want them to use the same natural and safe ingredients they use to color these products in the UK. I was downtown today giving out some samples of the version of this product made without artificial dyes, and no one could tell the difference compared to what they grew up eating!
I believe that Kraft will do the right thing and listen to consumers’ voices. I am here today with the sincere belief that people can come together to tell companies like Kraft that we want them to live up to the trusted reputations they work so hard to build. This is their opportunity to show they care and listen to our voice.
If you haven’t already joined us, you can sign our petition at change.org/kraftyellow.