The nation’s two biggest beer makers are getting cold water thrown on their long-held policies of not disclosing the ingredients in their brews.
An online petition to change that — asking Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors to post their beer product ingredients online — is being spearheaded by influential food blogger and nutritional activist Vani Hari, creator of FoodBabe.com.
At issue: It’s the Treasury Department — not the Food and Drug Administration — that regulates beer. So the beer giants are not required to post ingredients on their labels or on their websites. Hari says even though the law doesn’t require it, consumers have a right to know what’s in the beer they drink. And she wants the beer giants to post it on their websites.
“We know more about what’s in a bottle of Windex and Coca-Cola than we about one of the world’s most popular drinks, beer,” says Hari.
Among the ingredients Hari has discovered in some beers sold by the big beer makers: Prolyene Glycol, which is commonly used in airplane de-icing liquids, but used by some beermakers to control the head on their beers. Also, something called Isinglass, which comes from fish swim bladders, is used to make beer more clear. Some use high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and stabilizers that are linked to intestinal inflammation, she says.
Hari says she’s not asking beer makers to change their formulas — or their labels. “I’m not asking for government involvement,” she says. “I’m asking for voluntary disclosure on their websites.”
The action comes at a time when consumers are increasingly demanding more information about what’s in their products.