CSPI is asking the Dannon yogurt brand to use berries instead of insect-based dye in products

DENVER - The popular yogurt brand Dannon is being asked to replace the insect based dye used to get the pink color in some of their products.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says Dannon’s practices are fooling consumers who might believe the color is derived from berries rather than the dried bodies of insects.

The CSPI says the strawberry, boysenberry, raspberry and cherry flavors of the “Fruit on the bottom” products contain the insect-based dye, called carmine. The strawberry flavor Oikos brand Greek yogurt, two flavors of Dannon’s Light and Fit yogurt as well as six Activia yogurts also contain the dye.

"Given the fact that it causes allergic reactions in some people, and that it's easy to use safer, plant-based colors, why would Dannon use it at all? Why risk offending vegetarians and grossing out your other customers?" said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson in a statement on the group's website.

The CSPI says they are urging CEO of Dannon’s parent company Groupe Danone to remove the insect-based dye and replace it with fruit by sponsoring an online petition at TakePart.com.  

These cochineal insects are also used in candies, ice creams and various drugs and cosmetics, according to the CSPI.

The CSPI says the Food and Drug Administration is requiring carmine be listed on the product.