NC ‘food babe’ gets beer companies to post ingredients online

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — High fructose corn syrup, rice syrup, dextrose syrup: Do you know what’s in your beer this holiday weekend?

“With everything else, you get garbage in, garbage out, so, with beer especially, ingredients definitely matter,” said NoDa 101 co-owner Michael Felt, according to WSOC-TV.

Federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, don’t require beer companies to label ingredients on their products, but, even though they don’t demand it, a Charlotte woman did.

Vani Hari
Vani Hari

Vani Hari, known by many as “Food Babe,” the blogger who pressured Subway to drop a chemical from its bread, spent the last year or two, leaning on big beer to reveal its ingredients.

“It was so much about transparency. What’s in our beer? What are we drinking?” she said.

One petition and more than 40,000 signatures later, Miller Coors and Anheuser-Busch agreed to post their ingredients online.  Anheuser-Busch sent Action 9 a statement, saying:

“We provide significant information about our beer and their nutritional content through both our consumer hotline (1-800-DIAL-BUD) and our global consumer-information, which we have expanded over the years.  This exceeds what is required of alcohol producers and is beyond what many other beer, wine and hard liquor producers provide.  However, as American consumer needs evolve, we want to meet their expectations.  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 on for our flagship brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, and will be listing this for our other brands in the coming days.”

Action 9 went online and searched some of the more common Anheuser-Busch beers.  None list any unusual chemicals or preservatives.  But some do use sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup, or dextrose syrup.

Various published reports indicate other well-known beers, not part of Anheuser-Busch or Miller Coors, use less known fillers, like “fish bladder” to clarify beer and propylene glycol, a product found in anti-freeze, but approved for use as a food stabilizer.

Hari still wants all beer companies to post ingredients, and not just online, but on the products themselves.

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