By Dr. Mercola
Kellogg, the world’s largest producer of breakfast cereal, announced it will stop using artificial colors and flavors in its cereal and snacks by the end of 2018. Currently, about 25 percent of its North American cereals still contain artificial colors while about half contain artificial flavors.
The cereal giant has seen sales slow as Americans seek out more natural foods without a laundry list of synthetic ingredients on the label. The company’s second-quarter revenue in 2015 fell 2.2 percent in its morning foods division along with a 2 percent drop in its snacks division.1
The announcement comes on the heels of similar news from competitor General Mills, which announced it would phase out all artificial ingredients in its cereal products by 2017.
Artificial Ingredients Have No Place in Your Breakfast
Food giants are trying to appear as though they’re looking out for your health by removing questionable ingredients, but they really only did so after the market demanded it.
A survey by General Mills found that nearly half of US households are trying to avoid artificial flavors and colors… and the company wants their cereals to remain a steady presence in those homes. General Mills senior manager Lauren Pradhan told the Washington Post:2
“We want to make sure cereal is relevant for our families today… so we’ll be on breakfast tables for the next hundred years… If these ingredients are stopping them from enjoying cereal in the morning, we want to remove them.”
Really, however, these ingredients had no business being in your breakfast in the first place. As of July 2010, most foods in the EU that contained artificial food dyes were labeled with warning labels stating the food “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
This prompted many food manufacturers to voluntarily remove the dyes from their products. This is why if you eat a Nutri-Grain strawberry cereal bar in the US, it will contain artificial color, including Red 40, which has been found to accelerate the appearance of immune system tumors in mice, while also triggering hyperactivity in children.
But that same Nutri-Grain bar in the UK contains only natural colorings. In fact, the UK branches of Wal-Mart, Kraft, Coca-Cola, and Mars removed artificial colors, sodium benzoate, and aspartame from their product lines as a result of consumer pressure and government recommendations – back in 2011.
In the US, however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to allow these toxic ingredients in countless popular foods, including those marketed directly to children. At the end of March 2011, the FDA held a session to discuss the science on food dyes and hyperactivity.
They decided that warning labels are not necessary on US foods that contain artificial color because a causal relationship had not been established in the general population (although they did acknowledge that food dyes may cause behavioral problems in some children).
Yet, in 2007, a carefully designed, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study published in the journal The…