Stop Using Cancer-Causing Chemicals as Preservatives in Cereal

Target: John A. Bryant, CEO of Kellogg Company

Goal: Convince John A. Bryant to stop allowing the toxic chemical, BHT, to be used as a preservative

BHT, or Butylated Hydroxytoluene, is found in a number of Kellogg’s brand cereals. Its purpose is to prevent the product from changing taste or color. But it also comes with a list of environmental and health hazards. Numerous organic cereal makers have been able to produce cereals that don’t require the use of BHT, so why hasn’t Kellogg’s? As one of the industry leaders in breakfast cereals, Kellogg’s needs to set an example for others by discontinuing the use of BHT in its cereals.

BHT is considered a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) synthetic chemical manufactured from petroleum. It has been banned in England after researchers found it forms a carcinogenic substance when combined with other food. It has also been banned in California for the same reason. In Japan, the chemicals caused tumors in rat’s stomachs and was also linked to liver and kidney damage and breast and lymph node damage.

In addition to causing cancer and organ damage, BHT’s Material Safety Data Sheet is daunting. It states that BHT should not enter the environment and that it is combustible. It even states that when ingested, it can cause abdominal pain, confusion, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Obviously when it is put in food, it will be ingested. The data sheet also states that BHT is harmful to aquatic organisms. Why would Kellogg’s put a chemical in food that can cause bodily harm as well as harm to the environment?

When citizens buy food, they expect to eat food absent of chemicals. Kellogg’s is not only failing to offer chemical-free food to its customers, but it is taking its irresponsibility a step further by offering cancer-causing chemicals extracted from petroleum to its customers. Tell Kellogg’s that as an industry leader, it needs to set a better example by discontinuing the use of BHT in its cereals.


Dear John A. Bryant,

Thanks to millions of Americans buying Kellogg’s brand products, you and your shareholders have been able to enjoy sizable profits. Are you showing appreciation towards the customers who have helped make your company billions of dollars by putting carcinogenic preservatives in the food you sell them? Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a synthetic chemical found in many of your cereals. It has been linked to cancer and organ damage and is also harmful to the environment.

As an industry leader, you have the opportunity to lead the way in providing healthy options to all of your loyal customers, not just the ones who can afford your organic brands. You owe it to your consumers and the environment to discontinue the use of harmful chemicals in your cereals. We stand together in urging you to do so.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Evan-Amos via WikiMedia Commons.

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  1. Mmmmm chemicals, why doesn’t Kelloggs just market a bottle of chemicals that we can all have like up and go and get our daily dose in one on the run pack.I cannot believe they think that people are going to continue eating their product once the word gets out! People these processed cereals are exactly what the health nuts are talking about when they say don’t eat processed foods.Where in nature is there anything the colour of froot loops?

  2. These people should be forced to take a walk through the pediatric oncology ward. But since that won’t happen, and it probably wouldn’t change anything anyway, since all they care about is profit, all we can do as consumers is to refuse to buy their products.

  3. I only buy organic. I haven’t bought anything from Kelloggs in 30 yrs. Why not join me, America?

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