Subway said it will stop using azodiacarbonamide, a chemical used in the production of foamed plastics like yoga mats and rubber-soled shoes, in its bread.

This news comes after popular food blogger Food Babe launched a petition this week begging the sandwich chain to stop using the chemical ingredient. “This is not eating fresh!” Food Babe’s petition said.

Photo: Food Babe

Photo: Food Babe

According to the Huffington Post, “A representative for Subway says the change was underway before the petition was launched, but did not immediately provide details on when it started or when it would be complete.”

Vani Hari has petitioned for other food companies to stop using chemicals, including Kraft and Chick-fil-A.

Hari also writes in her petition, “[Azodicarbonamide] can be found in almost all the breads at Subway restaurants here in North America, but not in Europe, Australia or other parts of the world.”

She adds that Subway has been using this ingredient as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner which allows them to produce bread faster and cheaper without regarding various health consequences and alarming facts, including:

  • The World Health Organization  has linked it to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma.
  • When a truck carrying azodicarbonamide overturned on a Chicago highway in 2001, it prompted city officials to issue the highest hazardous materials alert and evacuate people within a half mile radius! Many of the people on the scene complained of burning eyes and skin irritation as a result.
  • The U.K. Health And Safety Executive has recognized azodicarbonamide as a potential cause of asthma.
  • When azodicarbonamide is heated, there are studies that show it is linked to tumor development and cancer.
  • Not only is this ingredient banned in Europe and Australia, but you also get fined 450,000 dollars if you get caught using it in Singapore and can serve 15 years in prison.

The chemical azodicarbonamide can also be found in Wonder Bread.

[via Food Babe, Huffington Post]