Bloggers around the world are becoming forces to be reckoned with, and Vani Hari of FoodBabe.com is no exception. Hari isn’t pleased that beer companies don’t have to share their ingredients with the general public, and she isn’t going to back down without a bit of a fight.
Hari launched an online petition asking that Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors post their beer product ingredients online. She believes consumers have a right to know what they are drinking and thinks it is not fair that these companies are not required to be more transparent.
How are these major beer companies getting away with not sharing their ingredients? Because technically, they don’t have to. Beer is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s regulated by the Treasury Department, so they don’t have the same rules that other food companies have.
After doing some research, Hari came upon some ingredients that are in beers sold by the larger beer brewers – and they don’t sound very appetizing. The questionable ingredients include things like Prolyene Glycol (used in airplane de-icing liquids), Isinglass (from fish swim bladders), and things we are more familiar with like high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and stabilizers. Although Hari was not impressed with what she found, she also wants it to be known that she is not calling for the major beer companies to change their formulas. She just wants them to put their ingredient information online so that consumers can make informed decisions as to what they want to drink.
Hari’s petition received 40,000 signatures in 24 hours and the beer companies have taken notice. ABC News reported that both Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have responded to the petition.
“…as American consumer needs evolve, we want to meet their expectations,” said Anheuser-Busch spokesman Terri Vogt. “Therefore, 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.”
As for MillerCoors, they said: “We also value transparency and are happy to comply with the request for additional information. Earlier this year, we led all alcohol companies by voluntarily placing a nutritional label on our Miller64 brand and we will be putting more ingredient information online in the days ahead.”
It’s great to see that one blogger (with the help of 40,000 others) could make such a big difference so quickly with a couple major players in the alcohol world. We can’t wait to see how this call for ingredients will affect more companies in the near future.