The latest example of a company bowing to consumer pressure: Subway

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989040_22128307Here is yet another example of one of the nation s largest brands responding to pressure from American consumers and activist groups. Subway has chosen to remove the chemical azodicarbonamide from its bread. According to a statement made by the company, We are already in the process of removing Azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is USDA and FDA approved ingredient. This response echoes the action taken by General Mills to remove GMO products from Cheerios due to consumer pressure.

Azodicarbonamide is used to increase elasticity in products such as yoga mats and shoe rubber. It is also used as a dough conditioner in bread.

Subway s choice to remove this chemical is specifically in response to a petition started by food blogger Vani Hari, the voice behind the blog The petition was signed by about 77,000 individuals.

Hari says, I commend Subway for finally responding to me and now over 58,000 [77,000 now] concerned citizens. Their swift action is a testament to what power petitions and individuals can have.

ACSH s Ariel Savransky responds: This is another example of a company bowing to pressure exerted by consumers. It s something new every day. If it s not one ridiculous ingredient consumers are protesting against, it s another. And, what the consumers are not thinking about is that when a chemical is removed from a product, it is almost certainly going to be replaced with another one which may be less-studied. Is the protest really worth it then?