I think for a lot of us, Mom's recipe came from a box with the word Kraft on it. Even if that was your truth, there is is an effort to throw a curveball to the folks over at the Mondelez International Inc., owners of the cheese-pasta combo.
Almost 200,000 Americans have signed a change.org petition, asking Kraft to drop two artificial dyes that give the dish it's cheesy look. The petition says Yellow 5 and 6 are the worrisome ingredients that are left out of the Mac & Cheese Kraft sells in Europe. The petition points to studies linking the dyes to long term health problems like asthma, skin rashes and migraines.
But Kraft is fighting back releasing a statement saying, "We only use colors that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the food and drug administration."
What are Yellow #5 & #6?
On June 30, 2010, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called for the FDA to ban Yellow 6. The CSPI said, "These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody. according to Wikipedia:
Yellow 5 and 6 are both synthetic coal tar dyes made from industrial waste (coal tar).
Yellow 5 is also called Tartrazine and E102 in Europe. Banned in Norway, Austria, and Germany.
Side effects of yellow 5 - ingestion, anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. Certain people who are exposed to the dye experience symptoms of tartrazine sensitivity even at extremely small doses, some for periods up to 72 hours after exposure. In children, asthma attacks and hives have been claimed, as well as supposed links to thyroid tumours, chromosomal damage, and hyperactivity.
There are also rumors that the dyes cause permanent 'shrinkage" in men, but so far it looks like those claims haven't been proven.
In any case, I thought this Macaroni & Cheese hypnotizing commercial was fitting to go with this story. At least you now have some more info on what's going on.