Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Washington - Group Wants Insect Parts Out of Food Coloring

Published on: June 1, 2009 07:51 PM
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share

Washington - A watchdog group applauded a new labeling rule governing food coloring made from insect parts but its leaders still want the substance banned.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new regulation, set to take effect in January 2011, that will require companies that use the dried bodies of cochineal insects to create food dyes to list the ingredient on their labels. Previously, foods containing cochineal usually listed only “artificial colors” or “color added” to note its presence.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which lobbied the FDA on the subject, said the campaign was sparked by a University of Michigan allergist who discovered the additives cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

The group lauded the FDA’s decision, but said the new rule does not go far enough in forcing companies to explicitly state on labels that the products contain insects. Officials with the watchdog group said that information could be important to people with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians and observant Jews and Muslims.

Advertisement:

The center said it is seeking to have cochineal products banned as food ingredients.


More of today's headlines

Israel - Israel's identity as a secular Jewish democracy is being called into question with the publication of a survey suggesting Israelis have a stronger connection to... Newtown Square, PA - A U.S. court says a kindergartner's mother cannot read Scripture during "Show and Tell," even if the Bible is the boy's favorite book. Today's...

 

You can now automatically hide comments - New!

Don't worry, you can always display comments when you need to.

Total23

Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 01, 2009 at 07:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Well many kosher food have artificial colors in their contents. Does it mean there is a problem here? Someone with expertise should please explain. Thanks

2

 Jun 01, 2009 at 07:40 PM Anonymous Says:

I hope the law requires them to write insect derived food dye on the ingredient list, and not just write carmine or cochineal extract. The name carmine sounds like a spice, however it is not a spice. Most people don't know what cochineal is.

I would also like to see laws requiring all foods including produce to be labeled with the country of origin. I want to see laws requiring all fruit and vegetables that have a wax or coating on them to have a sign next to them stating this, with the ingredients of the coating, and whether it is strictly vegan or not.

3

 Jun 01, 2009 at 07:28 PM Anonymous Says:

There is no kashruth issue here. Both the Igros Moshe and Masechta Chullin make clear that additives derived from insects such as cochineal insects (commonly used as a coloring in red grapefuit juice etc.) which are processed to the point they are more like chemicals than food raise no questions. As long as the product in question has a good Chasideshe hashgacha, there can be nq questions, even for someone who is machmir on kashruth.

4

 Jun 01, 2009 at 07:06 PM Anonymous Says:

There is nothing wrong with these insect-derived food colorings. If they are used in kosher foods, there has to be good chasideshe hashgacha so there is no shaiyla regard whether they can be consumed by even the most machmir yidden.

5

 Jun 01, 2009 at 08:53 PM AH Says:

I can't claim familiarity with what it says in Igros Moshe on the subject, but the fact is that many reliable kashrus authorities do not accept carmine (another insect-derived coloring) as kosher. For example, at http://oukosher.org/index.php/common/article/industrial_bakeries/ :

Carmine, or carminic acid, is a natural organic dye made from the dried bodies of female insects called Coccus Cacti which live on cactus plants. It is one of the oldest known natural dyes. Most of the major kashrus agencies accept the psak halacha that carmine is not kosher. (See Minchas Yitzchok, vol.3, 96). (See Hamodia, Kashrus Kaleidoscope, March 2005, for a more detailed discussion about food coloring).

and at http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-palate-secretingredient.htm:

Cochineal or Carmine is a natural red colorant extracted from the dried bodies of the coccus cacti insect which produces a highly stable natural red dye. Major kashrus agencies do not consider cochineal or carmine as a kosher colorant.

6

 Jun 01, 2009 at 09:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Anonymous Says
I would also like to see laws requiring all foods including produce to be labeled with the country of origin. I want to see laws requiring all fruit and vegetables that have a wax or coating on them to have a sign next to them stating this, with the ingredients of the coating, and whether it is strictly vegan or not.

Isn't this the law already?

7

 Jun 01, 2009 at 09:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Aside from the kashrut issue, having insect derived products in foods is imo disgusting. Even it can be proven to be kosher(which is in dispute anyway), I still don't want it in my food. Why must food be colored anyway? Why can't it be eaten in its natural color?

8

 Jun 01, 2009 at 09:09 PM Babishka Says:

Does anyone remember back in the day when pistachio nuts were all colored bright red? They were imported from Iran, and when harvested the unprocessed nuts were unappealing gray color, so they were dyed red. Since pistachio growers in California use a bleaching process the red dye is no longer necessary.

9

 Jun 01, 2009 at 10:41 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

There is no kashruth issue here. Both the Igros Moshe and Masechta Chullin make clear that additives derived from insects such as cochineal insects (commonly used as a coloring in red grapefuit juice etc.) which are processed to the point they are more like chemicals than food raise no questions. As long as the product in question has a good Chasideshe hashgacha, there can be nq questions, even for someone who is machmir on kashruth.

Igros Moshe permits carmine? Considering that he forbids gelatin, that is surprising, and I doubt it. Please cite the teshuvah where he permits it. There are many poskim who do permit it, but as far as I know R Moshe is not one of them.

10

 Jun 01, 2009 at 10:32 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

I hope the law requires them to write insect derived food dye on the ingredient list, and not just write carmine or cochineal extract. The name carmine sounds like a spice, however it is not a spice. Most people don't know what cochineal is.

I would also like to see laws requiring all foods including produce to be labeled with the country of origin. I want to see laws requiring all fruit and vegetables that have a wax or coating on them to have a sign next to them stating this, with the ingredients of the coating, and whether it is strictly vegan or not.

Why should it say "insect derived"? If someone doesn't know what carmine or cochineal is, why should they care? The only purpose of putting "insect derived" is to make the product less appetising and scare people away from it. CSPI would want that because they hate all businesses and want to harm them, but why would you want it?

And why do you need to know the country of origin? All that will do is make it easier for antisemites to boycott Israeli produce. Or are you concerned about trumos and maasros and shmitta? If you're worried about the wax being treif (and all the major hechsherim say not to worry about it) then you can peel the fruit. Why impose onerous labeling requirements that can put people off the product?

11

 Jun 01, 2009 at 10:28 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Well many kosher food have artificial colors in their contents. Does it mean there is a problem here? Someone with expertise should please explain. Thanks

No. Artificial colours are good. Carmine is a NATURAL colour; when you have a red food with natural colours, that's when you have to worry. But even though there are many poskim who do permit carmine, none of the major American hechsherim accept it.

12

 Jun 01, 2009 at 11:24 PM Anonymous Says:

"Why should it say "insect derived"? If someone doesn't know what carmine or cochineal is, why should they care? The only purpose of putting "insect derived" is to make the product less appetising and scare people away from it. CSPI would want that because they hate all businesses and want to harm them, but why would you want it?"

Why? because I want people who are interested in knowing what is in their food to get an answer they can understand. If food producers feel listing this on the ingredients list makes the product less appealing, then they shouldn't use carmine. It is that simple.

"And why do you need to know the country of origin?"

Countries have different levels of government supervision over pesticides, fertilizers, and monitoring of toxic mineral levels in food. Some people might want to only eat food grown in countries with a good record for food safety.


" If you're worried about the wax being treif (and all the major hechsherim say not to worry about it) then you can peel the fruit."

There is no worry about fruit grown in the US, since the waxes on fruits and vegetables grown here is either vegetable oil based or milk based(although perhaps some apples and other fruit that uses milk based wax might be milchig?)/
Fruit and vegetables grown outside the US though might have wax that is made from ingredients of animal origin.

"Why impose onerous labeling requirements that can put people off the product?"

That is exactly the point. Products should be available without ingredients that people don't want. With full disclosure, unwanted ingredients will be removed or else companies were suffer the consequences. Yogurt and fruit juice doesn't need to have carmine in it.

13

 Jun 01, 2009 at 11:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Carmine is also used in many lipsticks. So is animal fat. I guess those women who keep kosher should only use a lipstick with a good hashgacha.

14

 Jun 02, 2009 at 12:24 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Carmine is also used in many lipsticks. So is animal fat. I guess those women who keep kosher should only use a lipstick with a good hashgacha.

Lipstick is not food.

15

 Jun 02, 2009 at 12:24 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

"Why should it say "insect derived"? If someone doesn't know what carmine or cochineal is, why should they care? The only purpose of putting "insect derived" is to make the product less appetising and scare people away from it. CSPI would want that because they hate all businesses and want to harm them, but why would you want it?"

Why? because I want people who are interested in knowing what is in their food to get an answer they can understand. If food producers feel listing this on the ingredients list makes the product less appealing, then they shouldn't use carmine. It is that simple.

"And why do you need to know the country of origin?"

Countries have different levels of government supervision over pesticides, fertilizers, and monitoring of toxic mineral levels in food. Some people might want to only eat food grown in countries with a good record for food safety.


" If you're worried about the wax being treif (and all the major hechsherim say not to worry about it) then you can peel the fruit."

There is no worry about fruit grown in the US, since the waxes on fruits and vegetables grown here is either vegetable oil based or milk based(although perhaps some apples and other fruit that uses milk based wax might be milchig?)/
Fruit and vegetables grown outside the US though might have wax that is made from ingredients of animal origin.

"Why impose onerous labeling requirements that can put people off the product?"

That is exactly the point. Products should be available without ingredients that people don't want. With full disclosure, unwanted ingredients will be removed or else companies were suffer the consequences. Yogurt and fruit juice doesn't need to have carmine in it.

Are you really thick? Carmine makes a product more desirable. That's why they put it in. People want natural ingredients because you and your CSPI friends have scared them away from artificial ones, so natural colours it is, and that means carmine. The whole point of marketing is to make a product more desirable, so people will buy it. Making it an attractive colour improves it and is therefore good; reminding people exactly where it comes from makes it less desirable and is therefore bad. Is that so hard to understand?

It's just like Bismarck's famous line about sausages and laws; if you like them you shouldn't watch them being made. Do you want sausages to be labeled with exactly what's in them, with pictures of the various parts to drive the point home? If you're a CSPI nut you probably do, but most normal people don't.

Remember that manufacturers do not exist to serve the public, they exist to make money. They do that by producing something people want to buy, and making it as valuable and desirable as they can. They owe it to their customers to warn them about potential harm; they do NOT owe it to anyone to needlessly put them off the product by describing a perfectly harmless ingredient in an unattractive way.

CSPI are a band of socialists who hate business on principle. There's no reason why any sane person should pay them any attention. The name CSPI on any press release or news story should be a bright red warning light saying "don't believe a word of this".

16

 Jun 02, 2009 at 07:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Milhouse Says:

Lipstick is not food.

Although carmine in lipstick is not treif mamesh, chassidim dont use it. Women should check the labels and ask their rav. If it lists in the may contain catagory, then its in some of the colors.

17

 Jun 02, 2009 at 08:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Milhouse Says:

Lipstick is not food.

"“ Lipstick is not food.”

It is still consumed though. Anything placed on the lips will be consumed to some degree. Did you read what the OU web page said about toothpaste and mouthwash? Some rabbis stated that it should have a proper hechsher. Those who believe toothpaste should have a hechsher will probably want one on lipstick as well, especially since toothpaste is used for just a short period of time then rised out of the mouth, while a woman wears lipstick all day.

www.oukosher.org/index.php/articles/single_print/10064

18

 Jun 02, 2009 at 07:58 AM Anonymous Says:

"Are you really thick? Carmine makes a product more desirable. "

Perhaps to you, but not to me. I won't eat products with carmine, no matter how many rabbis say it is kosher. Imo eating carmine is disgusting.

"People want natural ingredients because you and your CSPI friends have scared them away from artificial ones, "

LOL! Yogurt with carmine in it is natural? That reminds me of the joke about the dog food that says all natural on it. When in nature does a dog eat a cow?

"so natural colours it is"
Why must it have any coloring added??????

"The whole point of marketing is to make a product more desirable, so people will buy it. "

So putting bug extract in foods makes them more desirable? How many people would be more interested in eating a product if they knew it has bug extract in it?

"Making it an attractive colour improves it and is therefore good; reminding people exactly where it comes from makes it less desirable and is therefore bad. Is that so hard to understand?"

LOL! So deception is a good thing? Form is much more important than substance? Should apples be painted red if they don't look red enough?
Should fruit have large labels placed on it, in a location to hide the blemishes on the fruit?

"It's just like Bismarck's famous line about sausages and laws; if you like them you shouldn't watch them being made. Do you want sausages to be labeled with exactly what's in them, with pictures of the various parts to drive the point home? If you're a CSPI nut you probably do, but most normal people don't."

LOL! If you won't like knowing what is in a food then you shouldn't eat it. As someone who wants to know what is in my food, and often looks up the nutritional value of natural foods, I want my processed foods to be as natural as possible, and have the smallest number of ingredients possible. Must is my diet is natural foods.

"Remember that manufacturers do not exist to serve the public, they exist to make money. They do that by producing something people want to buy"

They should want to buy it based on disclosure, not based on deception.

"They owe it to their customers to warn them about potential harm"

What about spiritual harm? As someone who keeps kosher, you should understand the spiritual harm done to certain people by eating certain foods.

"needlessly"?

Why ever have the ingredients listed on any food products then? Let's all be forced to eat what food manufacturers want to put in out food regardless of how offensive we find eating those ingredients are.

"CSPI are a band of socialists who hate business on principle"

LOL! A person has a right to know what is in a product they are considering buying. A vegetarian has a right to be able to avoid foods that are not vegetarian. Someone with food allergies has a right to avoid foods he is allergic to.








19

 Jun 02, 2009 at 09:14 AM FVNMS Says:

Reply to #14  
Milhouse Says:

Lipstick is not food.

Very deep, Milly.

20

 Jun 02, 2009 at 09:10 AM FVNMS Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Aside from the kashrut issue, having insect derived products in foods is imo disgusting. Even it can be proven to be kosher(which is in dispute anyway), I still don't want it in my food. Why must food be colored anyway? Why can't it be eaten in its natural color?

So what you're saying is something like this: Kosher, Shmosher! Feh!

21

 Jun 02, 2009 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

I wouldn't mind if yogurt has beet extract or annatto in it. Leave out the carmine though.

22

 Jun 02, 2009 at 12:22 PM Anonymous Says:

"A word from FDA

The list of colors exempt from certification are listed and described
in 21 CFR 73. The ones approved for food, rather than animal feed,
include: annatto extract; dehydrated beets (beet powder); caramel;
-apo-8'-carotenal; -carotene; cochineal extract and carmine; toasted
partially defatted cooked cottonseed flour; ferrous gluconate and
ferrous lactate; grape color extract; grape skin extract (enocianina);
fruit juice; vegetable juice; carrot oil; paprika and paprika
oleoresin; riboflavin; saffron; titanium dioxide; and turmeric and
turmeric oleoresin.

Label lessons
Under FDA regulations, any color added to a food product cannot be
considered "natural," no matter what the source, according to Penny
Huck, associate director of technical services, Warner-Jenkinson Co.,
St. Louis. That's unless the colorant is natural to the food product
itself -- strawberry juice that gives strawberry ice-cream a pink hue,
for example. If red beet color is used for strawberry ice cream, it
would not be considered "naturally colored," because beet juice is not
a natural component of strawberries or ice cream.

Carmine/cochineal extract.
Carminic acid, derived from the shells of dried female insects
(Dactylopius coccus costa) is the main pigment in carmine or
cochineal. Cochineal extract contains approximately 2% to 3% carminic
acid. Depending on the product and the pH, it produces colors in the
orange to purple range. Carmine is the salt of the pigment, which
produces a magenta-red shade. The water-insoluble lake forms of
carmine range from pink to purple, and will have carminic acid
contents of not less than 50%. In order to stabilize carmine at low
pHs, an acid-proof version is manufactured."

answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/550467.html

23

 Sep 08, 2009 at 09:41 PM Anonymous Says:

"That reminds me of the joke about the dog food that says all natural on it. When in nature does a dog eat a cow?"

In nature wolves eat alot of field mice and rats, you really want dog food made of that? That was a very poor example.

24

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!