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NEWS FLASH! Thanks to our recent media splash and your contributions, the maker of Trident gum—Mondelez, one of the largest food manufacture in the world—called us to say it is not using nano in its foods. They are also requiring suppliers to provide nano-free ingredients. Mondelez did not respond to our inquiries last year, but with this campaign, food makers are beginning to see how much you care about nano.
So, instead of testing Trident gum, we are swapping in Betty Crocker Whipped Frosting to test for nano. It has the same coloring additive that we found in Dunkin' Donuts.
How can you say no to a fluffy white donut covered in powdered sugar? As it turns out, calories aren’t the only thing that you should be worried about. Our recent lab tests found potentially harmful nano-sized particles in the white powdered sugar on Dunkin’ Donuts.
Nanoparticles are one millionth the size of a grain of sand. Because of their small size, they are able to go places in the body that regular particles cannot. When eaten, nano can pass into the blood and travel to vital organs including the liver, the heart, and even the brain. A recent scientific study showed that ingested nano caused abnormal swelling in the brains of rats.
So how do we know if these additives are in your food? Well, if it’s up to food manufactures, you won’t!
That’s why we decided to take matters into our own hands by finding where nano is entering our food supply. We need your help to raise $9,000 to test three products we believe may contain nano: Pop-Tarts, M&M’s, and Betty Crocker frosting. All three may use colorings, just like in the white powdered sugar on Dunkin’ Donuts that contain nano.
By contributing to this campaign by March 13th, you will help us expose more sweets containing nano. We will use this information to press manufacturers to stop using this untested technology in our foods.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that has been fighting to get toxins out of consumer products for over 20 years. All donations are tax-deductible and there are many perks for donating.
The food industry is exploring using nano because of its potential to do revolutionary things to our foods, like make creamy fat-free liquids, enhance flavors, brighten colors, and keep food fresh longer.
But there are no studies proving that nano is safe in food—especially for kids. Even the FDA says nano is not necessarily safe, but is not preventing companies from using it.
In 2010, As You Sow pressed McDonald’s and Kraft to create public policy statements about their use of nano. In 2011, we published a framework to help companies find out about nano in their supply chains. And in 2012, we surveyed 2,500 food companies and found only two have a formal policy on their use of nano.
We announced our findings in Slipping Through the Cracks: An Issue Brief on Nanomaterials in Food (2013) and have started talking to Dunkin’ Donuts about getting these additives out of their products until they are proven safe. Read more about the report and Dunkin' in The New York Times and Scientific American.
We will test Pop-Tarts, M&M’s, and Betty Crocker frosting for nano because they all contain a chemical we know is being used in nano form in other foods. You will be the first to hear when we get the lab results back—after all, you are making this possible! Then we will go public and start talking to the companies that make these products to share our concerns.
Each lab test costs $3,000 so each third of our fundraising goal sends another product to the lab.
This is just the first round of foods we want to test for nano. Check out the perks below to find out how to add your favorite food products to the testing list.
When you donate:
- $25 – You get early access to testing results
- $50 – You get an invitation to discuss the findings with our research staff
- $100 - You get to vote on the ballot for the next round of food items to be tested
- $250 - You get to suggest items to be added to the ballot
- $500 - You get to have nano-free donuts with our research staff in Oakland, California
- $1,000 - You get a free copy of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food
Do your friends and family know they might be eating nano? Email, Facebook, or Tweet them a link to www.indiegogo.com/nanoays.
At As You Sow, we take the old adage "you reap what you sow" to heart. We are sowing a better world by pushing companies to be socially and environmentally responsible, so we can all reap the rewards of a safe, just, and sustainable world. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.
Photo Credit: Jacqueline Argote – Zach Behar Films