Consumers Have the Power. Companies Quietly Change Harmful Ingredients

More and more people are paying attention to what’s on food labels. Because of this increased interest in food ingredients, some companies are quietly removing the more questionable ones.

Americans have become increasingly interested in what exactly is in their food and drink. Some check the labels because they want to avoid GMOs or potentially harmful ingredients. PepsiCo Inc. removed†brominated vegetable oil from its Gatorade products earlier this year for that reason.

Others check the labels because they want to know what exactly goes into their food. Starbucks has changed its red dye after information their previous dye was made of crushed bugs was met by†customer backlash. The company now uses a tomato based dye.

Though these are two well-known companies, it’s unlikely you heard about the change to their ingredient lists. For the most part, major companies are reluctant to share which ingredients are being removed and replaced to avoid bringing attention to the fact they were in the product in the first place.

Social media has given consumers a place to publicly air their concerns and call out the companies they think are doing wrong. Before, if a customer had a complaint, they could contact the company privately and have it dealt with that way. Now anytime someone sees something in a product they don’t like, they can garner support and†petition signatures in the thousands.

For example, though PepsiCo Inc. has removed brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade, Coca-Cola has not done the same with the Powerade drinks that contain that ingredient. An online petition to have brominated vegetable oil from Powerade had 57,000 supporters as of last week.

The power of the people has never been more evident. With a few clicks of a track pad, someoneís small concern can become a major cause. Think of the progress anti-GMO campaigns have made in the last year. What used to be grassroots campaigns, isolated to their individual areas, now have major social media presence and support. The same thing is happening with food ingredients and labels.

Companies are changing the way they make their food products, often finding a healthier alternative. Call me crazy, but I donít think that is happening just because someone at those companies has decided itís time to be healthy. Just don’t expect these companies to make grand statements about their changes. For now, at least, they will be done quietly.


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Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago

ty for an inspiring article

Maritza D.
Maritza D4 years ago


Val M.
Val M4 years ago


simon short
Simon Short4 years ago

Excellent - However, we need professional bodies with the powers of inspection and scientific analysis too.
For this we need a government which invests in a properly funded and legally powerful FDA (In the US) Fiood Standards Authority/ Min of Ag and Fish (UK).
This is one of the things that tax money goes to. Without tax we have nothing but the marketplace entirely under the control of con-men.
Don't let them con you that lowering tax or "reducing red tape" will help you in any way whatsoever.
It's all about them.

Jane R.
Jane R4 years ago

One step at a time, we the people can make change happen!

Aleisha D.
Aleisha D4 years ago


Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush4 years ago

I love repeating this quote:

'Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.'
Margaret Mead

Let's not forget, this is Big Business, about whom we are speaking.
They have no morals or love of our country's citizens. Their only goal if making money, regardless of the unhealthy results.
Pepsi and Coke are similar to Democrats and Republicans. They are the big players and have no intention of allowing any other group get into the race.

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago

spam reported. ty

Dave C.
David C4 years ago

report the spam! please!

Ve G.
Valentina G4 years ago