| Boycott Watch has exposed how the
US Food and Drug
Administration allows companies to put ground up cochineal beetles in food
since 2006, and allowing companies to call it either "carmine" or
"cochineal extract" without telling the public the food coloring is
really ground up insects. Boycott Watch sees this as the US government covering
up problems in the food supply, allowing big businesses to secretly color food
without the public knowing they are being fed creepy crawly bugs because they
know consumers would not eat the food if they really knew what was in it, just
so long as the food manufacturers can create better-looking items
Boycott Watch considers it to be a cover-up because the
guidelines page for cochineal extract or carmine does not even mention that
it is in fact ground up insects, thus distracting the public from the facts.
Cochineal extract / carmine have been FDA approved for many
years. It came to market because when ground-up, you get the very brightest red
possible, which is why it is also used in lipstick, candy and reportedly
sometimes in beef. Boycott Watch therefore also advises people check the
ingredients in those products as well.
While some people have been challenging the US FDA for
allowing bugs in human diets, Starbucks came under fire for using the bugs in
their strawberry beverages. As we reported,
recently came under fire because they always claimed corporate responsibility,
and as a result has lost a great amount of good faith from customers. Boycott
Watch is calling upon Starbucks to immediately suspend the sales of all
beverages using actual bug juice.
Boycott Watch has not yet seen an organized boycott against
Starbucks for using the bugs in their drinks, and does not expect to see an
organized effort because it's not needed. "People are sickened hearing
what is actually in their drinks. Starbucks customers who spend several dollars
each day for a premium beverages do not want cockroaches or any other insects
in their drinks and will inherently stop buying those products" said Fred
Taub, President of Boycott Watch. "The US FDA has been silent to consumer
complains about carmine / cochineal extract for years."
Fred Taub also pointed out that there is only one way to
makes sure you avoid eating bugs. "The fact is, kosher certifications have
always been far stricter than the FDA. Not only are all products containing
insects forbidden from garnering kosher certification, but you will see US FDA
approved non-dairy products labeled as kosher-dairy because they contain dairy
extracts. Additionally, Kosher for Passover products, except for Matzah
products, are a staple in gluten-free diets because it is a higher standard for
food purity that the FDA. If you want to avoid eating bugs, forget the FDA and
only eat kosher."
In an official statement, Starbucks had little to say other
than acknowledging the ground-up bugs are used in some of their drinks and that
it is FDA approved. While the FDA specifies cochineal extract / carmine must be
listed in ingredients, the innocuous name essentially allows the food industry
to hide the truth behind what it really is. Unless you are a food ingredient
detective, you would never know.