Subway Removing Shoe Rubber Chemical Azodicarbonamide from Bread Following Foodbabe.com Exposé
Fast-food sandwich giant Subway, one of the world’s biggest bakers, will remove an internationally banned chemical used to make shoe rubber from its bread following the launch of a food blogger’s petition.
USA Today reports Subway, the world’s largest sandwich chain, will stop using azodicarbonamide, a chemical most commonly used as a blowing agent in the rubber and plastic industries, in its breads. Azodicarbonamide, which is banned in Australia, the United Kingdom and the European Union, is used to increase elasticity in a wide range of products, from shoe rubber to yoga mats to Subway’s sandwich bread– until now.
“We are already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is a USDA and FDA approved ingredient,” Subway said in a statement. “The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”
The company’s decision follows an exposé and petition by Vani Hari, publisher of the blog Foodbabe.com. Hari wrote that “what broke the camel’s back” was First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent endorsement of Subway’s kids menu as meeting the “highest nutritional standards.”
“Not only is the First Lady of the United States duped by this company, but [also] millions of North Americans,” wrote Hari. “I knew I had to do something. With you.”
The petition launched by Hari has received more than 78,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon.
Hari’s investigation of what goes into Subway’s so-called “fresh” food found the presence of chemical additives, refined bleach flour, preservatives, artificial colors, hidden monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, refined sugars and likely genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.
Hari praised Subway’s move to stop using azodicarbonamide.
“I commend Subway for finally responding to me and now over 58,000 concerned citizens,” she wrote. “Their swift action is a testament to what power petitions and individuals can have.”
Hari noted that Subway is still using the controversial chemical in its bread and urged “everyone not to eat their sandwich bread until they have finally removed the chemical.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that “case reports and epidemiological studies in humans have produced abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization in exposed workers,” but says that only “low acute toxicity” has been observed in studies on mammals that ingest the chemical.
Tagged azodicarbonamide, Foodbabe.com, Michelle Obama Subway kids menu, Subway, Subway azodicarbonamide, Subway bread, Subway shoe rubber, Subway toxic bread, Vani Hari, Vani Hari Subway, world health organization