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    Default Starbucks admits using bug-based red dye in a few food products

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    US cafe giant Starbucks' Chinese subsidiary has admitted that it used a bug-based red dye in a few food products in their cafes in China, days after announcing plans to stop using the insect extract following an online campaign.

    The world's largest coffee-shop chain had said earlier this week that it plans to stop using an extract made of dried insects to colour some Frappuccinos and pastries and the US stores would phase out its use by June.

    The development came after an online campaign was joined by thousands asking the retailer to stop the use of red dye derived from cochineal insects, a tropical bug found in Mexico and South America, because it was not vegetarian or kosher.

    The company's Chinese subsidiary said on Tuesday that it had used cochineal, a bug-based red dye, in a few food products in their cafes in China.

    Starbucks China also said that they had not sold any beverage containing cochineal in China, and a new strawberry and soy milk frappuccino they are going to launch will use a red colourant that meets the Chinese food safety standard, Beijing Evening News reported.

    As many as 7,500 American consumer rights activists forced the Nasdaq-listed company to stop using cochineal, or carmine, a red dye made from the dried bodies of female cochineal insects, in its strawberry-flavoured drinks in the US.



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