Dannon produces the bright red hue of some of its yogurts not only with fruit, but with carmine — a color additive made with the crushed bodies of cochineal beetles. The fact isn’t sitting well with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which believes many consumers are unaware they have consumed an insect-based ingredient.
The CSPI posits that the ingredient could prove problematic for vegetarians or consumers with dietary restrictions. Allergies could also create an issue for some consumers.
According to various company websites, Dannon uses carmine in the strawberry, cherry, boysenberry and raspberry flavors of its “Fruit on the Bottom” line; the strawberry flavor of its Oiko’s brand Greek yogurt; the pomegranate berry flavor of its “Light and Fit” yogurt; the blueberry flavor of its “Light and Fit Greek” yogurt; as well as several flavors of its Activia brand yogurts.
Dannon’s senior director of public relations, Michael J. Neuwirth, stood by the company’s use of carmine in an interview with The Huffington Post.