People are attacking Nutella on social media for allegedly containing “harmful” ingredients.
Blog posts such as “Say no to Nutella, it is poisoning you and your children,” and “Why you’ll want to think twice before feeding your kids Nutella” are being shared by thousands on Facebook.
The posts claim that the artificial ingredient vanillin, which Nutella contains, is a neurotoxin that kills brain cells.
The articles also attack Nutella’s use of skim milk powder, soy lethicin (an emulsifier or lubricant), and palm oil.
“Nutella is actually probably one of the most poisonous products that you could buy for yourself,” writes one Facebook user.
“I will not be eating Nutella ever again!” writes another.
We reached out to Nutella parent company Ferrero for comment and will update this post when we hear back. Nutella contains seven ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, milk (skim milk powder and whey powder), cocoa, soy lethicin, and vanillin.
Vanillin is safe to consume and there is no evidence it kills brain cells, according to the United Nations’ Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“The use of vanillin as a food additive is approved by authorities worldwide,” according to an OECD report. “During the present reviewing of the available toxicity data for vanillin, no particular risk has been identified which should give reason to concern or additional toxicity testing in animals.”
On its website, Nutella says it contains synthetic vanillin, “which produces an aroma identical to the one naturally present in the vanilla pod” because “the production of vanilla pods is not enough to meet the escalating global demand.”
Nutella has come under fire in the past for its use of palm oil, a saturated fat produced from the fruit of oil palm trees.
A French minister declared last year that consumers should not purchase Nutella if they want to help save the environment, saying the production of palm oil is a leading cause of deforestation.
Nutella says it obtains its palm oil comes from sustainable farms — a claim that is supported by the environmental group Greenpeace, according to Time.
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