Still, well being advocates applauded General Mills for taking this step with Annie’s, one of its signature manufacturers. General Mills purchased Annie’s in 2014, and its reputation has skyrocketed in the course of the pandemic as homebound customers flip to packaged meals.
“People shouldn’t have to eat chemicals in their food when it could make them sick, especially where there are safer alternatives,” mentioned Mike Belliveau, the manager director of Defend Our Health, an environmental and well being advocacy group centered on the hazards of phthalates.
Mr. Belliveau’s group, which previously referred to as itself the Environmental Health Strategy Center, helped fund the examine in 2017 that exposed the existence of the chemical substances within the meals. Since then, he has reached out to large meals firms akin to General Mills and Kraft about phthalates. Only General Mills opened a dialogue along with his group about phasing out the chemical substances from its provide chain, he mentioned. (Kraft didn’t reply to a request for remark for this text.)
“Annie’s has updated the language on their website to our new external commitment,” Lee Anderson, a General Mills government, wrote to the advocacy group in a December e-mail that was considered by The New York Times. “We are not planning any additional communications, nor seeking any.”
“While we appreciate that this is important for some consumers, it is not the focus of most of our consumers during these difficult times as we seek to reassure them about the basic availability and value of our products,” the e-mail continued.
Mr. Anderson added that Annie’s had been discussing how to implement the adjustments with suppliers and was creating a “supplier confirmation tool” however that it could take time to assess its effectiveness.