The Food Babe has done it again. Popular food blogger and advocate Vani Hari released a petition Wednesday urging big-named American beer companies Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors to release a complete list of their ingredients.
She reached out to her followers via her personal blog, FoodBabe.com, urging supporters to sign her petition. “Nearly every other food and beverage provider is legally required to make this information available — yet these two companies, which collectively sell more than $75 billion in beers each year, have not,” she writes on her blog. “I grew concerned about the beer after discovering there is a long list of additives the government has approved for use in beer during an investigation last fall.”
After only one day of petitioning, she received over 46k signatures and caught the attention of Terri Vogt, vice president, communications for Anheuser-Busch. They released a statement to Hari saying, “We are working to list our beer ingredients on our website, just as you would see for other food and non-alcohol beverage producers ... We are beginning immediately, having incorporated this information earlier today on www.tapintoyourbeer.com for our flagship brands Budweiser and Bud Light, and will be listing this for our other brands in the coming days."
If you look at the websites of both Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, you’ll find only basic ingredients listed like this: “Water, Barley Malt, Rice, Yeast, Hops (ingredient listing is consistent with the FD&C Act)." The FD&C Act is the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which sets a standard for food, drugs, and cosmetics.
However, the beer industry is not required by the federal government to disclose its ingredients, and they are not regulated by the FDA. Its governing body is the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Hari points out other ingredients she said are found in beer: “High fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, stabilizers that are linked to intestinal inflammation, artificial colors — like caramel coloring, ingredients found in airplane deicing liquid, genetically modified ingredients, and even fish swim bladders are allowed in beer."
I just want full disclosure," Hari told ABC news, "not to change labels and go through government labels — just to disclose it online so everyone can see." Hari says that by being fully candid these beer companies will not lose customers. Instead, they’ll lead a more open business.
"Coca Cola has kept their secret formula under lock and key for years," she said. "However, Coca Cola also releases the full set of ingredients on their labels — something beer manufacturers have kept hidden for years and our government has neglected to mandate." The beer industry is a multi-million dollar business and is the most popular alcoholic beverage in America, according to a 2013 Gallup Poll.
"Just like dairy manufacturers pump cows with antibiotics and growth hormones, the beer companies should be up front about their processing and disclose that they are using fish bladders," Hari said.
Hari is the brain behind getting Kraft Foods to remove a harmful yellow dye from its macaroni, and Subway from removing a “yoga mat” ingredient, azodicarbonamide, from its breads. The self-proclaimed Food Babe hopes her voice will help change the way the food industry shares information with consumers.