Responding to a shareholder resolution filed by As You Sow, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. has reportedly agreed to reformulate its white powdered donuts to avoid the use of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. In return, the shareholder advocacy group has withdrawn its most recent resolution, which claimed that “recent research on the ingestion of inorganic nanoparticles has raised concerns regarding toxicity to humans and the environment.”
According to As You Sow, 18.7 percent of shareholders supported a previous resolution asking Dunkin’ to identify any products containing nanomaterials. That resolution followed a 2013 report alleging that food-grade titanium dioxide can contain particles less than 100 nanometers “in at least one dimension.”
“Insufficient safety information exists regarding these manufactured particles, especially for use in foods; preliminary studies show that nanomaterials can cause DNA and chromosomal damage, organ damage, inflammation, brain damage, and genital malformations, among other harms,” claims a March 5, 2015, As You Sow press release.