Artificial ingredients have a bad reputation because they’ve been left untested for years. Now, one of Canada’s largest grocery stores is ring to remove all those artificial ingredients from their in-house food line. This follows other pod providers and is a direct reaction to growing consumer concerns over some of their food.
Advocacy groups such as the Ottawa-based Centre for Science in the Public Interest have called for better controls on the use of artificial dyes and flavours and improved labelling laws. In Canada, food companies aren’t required to spell out which artificial colours they use on product labels. Health Canada has floated the idea of changing that.
Members of the medical and scientific communities remain divided about the true risks of artificial flavours and colours. For instance, some studies that found links between hyperactivity and synthetic food dyes have been criticized for using shoddy methodology. But in an era when many equate natural ingredients with better health, some consumers don’t want to wait and are demanding a shift in the food industry.
And the industry has begun responding. For instance, Nestlé has removed artificial colours from Smarties in Canada, while the company announced in March all of its confection items sold in Britain will contain only natural flavours and dyes and no artificial preservatives.