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June 30th, 2010
02:03 PM ET

Group urges ban of 3 common dyes

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says food dyes pose a number of risks to the American public and is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban three of the most commonly used dyes: Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.  A new CSPI report says those dyes contain known carcinogens and contaminants that unnecessarily increase the risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children and allergic reactions.

"These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody," said CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson, co-author of the report. "The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals."

The FDA has not read the report yet an agency spokesperson said. "We appreciate the report from CSPI and look forward to reviewing it. We take our commitment to protecting children seriously".

According to the report, tests done on lab animals found contaminants that raised health concerns about several of the nine dyes currently approved for market. The approved dyes are Blue 1 & 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 & 40 and Yellow 5 & 6. And every year, about 15 million pounds of these dyes wind up in our food, with alot of it ending up in things like candy, fruit drinks and cereals.

The report is based on the FDA's own studies, and studies done by Industry and turned over to the FDA. But a statement from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), who represents the industry says science shows food dyes are safe. "The safety of both artificial and natural colors has been affirmed through extensive review by the main global food safety bodies, including the US Food & Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority.  Both the FDA and the food and beverage industry continually monitor any new research or data in this area to determine if a change in current policy is warranted. It is important for consumers and policymakers to know that food dyes are widely studied and that the overwhelming majority of scientific evidence confirms the safety of artificial food colors."

The Food Standards Agency, an independent government agency in Great Britain, released research a few years ago that suggested a linked between hyperactivity in some children and certain food coloring.  Starting July 20th in the European Union, food containing some of these dyes will carry additional warning labels indicating possible adverse effects on "activity and attention in children."

CSPI went to Britain in 2008 to check out the differences in dye use first hand. It says it found more concern about food dyes and more government oversight. For example, CSPI says McDonald's Strawberry Sundaes get their color from fresh strawberries. The group says in the United States the color comes from Red dye 40. CSPI say in the UK, Fanta orange soda coloring comes from pumpkins and carrot extract. Here, it says the color comes from Red 40 and Yellow 6 dye.

Rand Carpenter, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola, who makes Fanta, says they stand by their products in the United States - and abroad. "Where colors are used in our products they have been reviewed for safety by numerous health authorities and agencies, are permitted in every country where we operate, and are considered safe."


soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. drinker75

    How about parents stop feeding their kids all the crap with dyes in it? Kids shouldn't be eating pop tarts, fruit loops, kool aid, etc, etc. My kids have this stuff so rarely because it's garbage!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer

      Please educate yourself. You will find out it is in much more than the items you mentioned.

      July 18, 2013 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
  2. Alan

    Anyone know what the life expectancy of the average human was before sythetic food preservatives were created? Back when everything that humans ate was natural, I would guess that it was much lower than it is now. The thing is that yes there are a lot of product in the marketplace today with chemicals in them that you should not eat too much of, but that goes for all products natural and artificial. You are not making your kids completely safe by eliminating their intake of food dyes. It is a very good idea to have them eat foods that are more healthy in general but generalizing that one particular ingredient is going to cause them great harm when billions of children have been ingesting these compounds for years with less documented issues than natural food such as nuts and fruits is absurd and totally misguided. Many more children die every year from food poisining and food allergies than die from synthetic food coloring.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Let me get your position straight: Is it that life expectancy has increased due to the use of synthetic food perservatives? Or is it since life expectancy has increased there should not be any concern about whether certain chemicals have any adverse effects? Sorry, but neither one makes much sense to me.

      Also, I don't think anyone is arguing that people should not be concerned about "natural" allergies and only be concerned with artificial allergies. It is possible to be a parent that is concerned about allergies to peanuts, etc. in addition to certain perservatives.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Was linking life expectancy to PRESERVATIVES not synthetic dyes and was just basically stating that we are living much longer now at least partly because of the way we process food. And on the allergy front I'm just pointing out that "all natural" fruits cause more health issues than food dyes but you want dyes banned.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      OK, preservatives increase life expectancy...I am glad you cleared that up for me.

      And natural fruits cause allergic reactions so anything else that causes allergic reactions is acceptable.

      Thanks for your help.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  3. Greg

    Alan, I think you're trying to prove your point with a very general statement/question. There are so many reasons for the life expectancy age to be higher these days such as breakthroughs in medicine for one. You sound like you're employed within the chemical industry or a lobbyist for them. Who else would fight so hard for chemicals and use such general statements to prove a point?

    July 1, 2010 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alan

      Partly, I said PARTLY! Not fighting for chemicals just trying to point out to people that you should not just read something like this and think that these compounds are going to kill you or your kids, especially when there are so many other food dangers in the world. I'll grant you that the preservative issue should be seperate of the synthetic dye but it is valid that part of the reason that we live longer is that current preservatives and processes allow us to eat much safer food and have a much more stable supply of it. I actually work for a major organic food company that makes only all natural products so if these products were banned my company would have an advantage over the companies that currently sell these products. Working in the food industry for as long as I have I have seen the data from these studies and others and just want the oublic to understand that there are much more improtant food issues that should concern them.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I am voting for ALAN to head the FDA.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
  4. Alan

    FDA is a joke. Did you know that they really do not scrutinize at a product until after it is on commercial shelves? Basically, as long as you make the product with GRAS (generaly recognized as safe) components you can sell it to the public without prior approval from FDA. USDA (meats) and TTB (alcohol) are much more proactive governing bodies.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Then I vote you as dictator so you can govern all bodies and keep us safe.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Doesn't CNN have spell-checkers? Saundra Young: "alot" is not a word.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Greg

    I just think we have been heading down the wrong path. Just because it works for whole and doesn't cause any problems outright doesn't mean that it's good for our future. All these chemicals are adding up in our bodies, our land and water. I was raised in an Italian family built on homemade, good food. I was taught to stay away from the junk. Nowadays it's something that we all need to consider. Fast food, quick energy, etc. help you endure trough our fast paced, work orientated society. We're built for speed and what we ingest has much to do with this unhealthy lifestyle. This is a free country (so to speak) and companies have rights to produce such foods and it's our duty as responsible people to feed our kids right and take care of ourselves the way that is best. Things aren't going to change overnight so take charge and keep yourself and your family healthy! Things will change eventually. I hope.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Greg

    John, I officially make you the spell checker since it's your only concern.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Check this out:

    For all of you parents out there that want to more about synthetic dyes, preservatives, artificial flavoring and how it DOES effect our children – check out: http://www.feingold.org.

    July 1, 2010 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Lulzmacher

    >hyperactivity in children
    I call BS.

    BAN EVERYTHING IT COULD HARM YOU MAYBE

    July 1, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cameragirl

      If you saw my kid on Red 40 you would believe, I am sure of that.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Come on over and babysit my 4yr old after he has eaten something with red#40 in it. You would change your mind !!!

      July 1, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
  10. cameragirl

    My 2-year-old daughter is sensitive to Red 40, and Yellow 6 as well. It's not sugar, it's not anything else, it is the dye for sure. I noticed she got very, very, very unnaturally hyper on Motrin starting before she was one year old. I stopped giving her Motrin and the hyper stopped One day she had a red Swedish Fish and went THROUGH THE ROOF. As another poster said, you can easily tell the difference between regular hyper and Red 40 hyper. Anyone who has seen it knows. So I check the Motrin and, sure enough, Red 40. Just to be sure I got some dye-free Motrin and tried it. No reaction at all. None.

    We are Americans living in Germany with the US Army and as a result I have access to both American food (at the post commissary) and German food, as well as American medicines and German ones. The American stuff is FULL of these colors. The first time my daughter had an ear infection there was ONE antibiotic that did not have Red 40. ONE. Next time I went to a German pharmacy – none of the liquid antibiotics were pink. We got her the medicine, which was still flavored like raspberry, by the way, and she took it with no problem.

    The dyes in the food is difficult and makes it very hard on us when feeding our daughter, This will for sure get harder as she gets older and begins to request things like M&Ms and Pop Tarts and other crap her friends are eating. However putting that stuff in children's medicines is criminal. I have to hunt high and low for dye free versions of over the counter meds, and there is currently one liquid antibiotic that she can take. How is that acceptable? Every doctor she has ever seen knows just what I am talking about when I say Red 40 makes her crazy, The last doc said some kids get asthma-like symptoms!

    If the Germans can have M&Ms and gummi bears and crazy colored cereals and ANTIBIOTICS with dye in them, then we can to. It is time we demand better for our kids.

    July 1, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. George Bright

    The CSPI may be overreaching here but I would love to see the FDA conduct a complete re-examination of certified dyes in processed foods. I have a pretty serious intolerance for Red Dye #40 (it's not dangerous but it's certainly unpleasant) and was appalled by pervasiveness of its use. About ten years ago I started a website to talk about the additive, http://www.red40.com where I explain what the dye is, what the current FDA regulations are and what foods contain Red40.

    While there may be some disagreement about the safety of these dyes, there's no disagreement about how widely used these synthetic dyes are! You'll find Red40 in the unlikeliest of places, from white cake frosting (to warm up the white color) to chocolate pudding (to make it look like a darker, richer brown).

    July 1, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bill Bro

    I have always been skeptical about claimed made by this self-proclaimed consumer watchdog. For a good description of what CSPI actually does, read this: http://tinyurl.com/285wmkj

    July 1, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. MK

    Not only are these dyes in food, but perfumes and lotions as well. Some combinations of these in perfumes make me swell, itch and give me a massive headache. I can choose not to buy products with these dyes, but I can not control other folks perfume usage, so a ban would be fine by me.

    July 1, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      So you think they dyes in other people's perfume effects you? I'm not buying that. Or are they rubbing themselves all over you? It is more likely something in the scent that you are sensitive to, which I can also have problems with.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  14. Maggie

    I haven't read all the comments, but did anyone else notice that first the article says that Red 40 and Yellow 5 and 6 should be banned, then down in the article it lists those in the approved colors?

    July 1, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Maggie

    Ooops, my bad. I re-read, and now I see that it's a different group recommending the ban.. Duh.

    July 1, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Belinda

    As the parent of a child who loses it when she eats red and yellow dyes( the person who described it as "Red 40 hyper" knows exactly what I mean), there is no question that they dyes are the problem. Her pediatrician is the one who gave me a heads-up, so he knows too. That said, I simply don't purchase products with those dyes in them and her teachers know that she can't have them. At this point, even she knows to read the labels because she doesn't like the out-of-control feeling. It makes shopping difficult sometimes and there is yummy stuff she can't have. I wish they weren't there, but with a little time and effort you can avoid them and allow parents who just don't care to continue pumping their kids up with carcinogens.

    July 1, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Angie

    Thank the Lord!!! My son has a sensitivity especially to red food dye. His aggressive behaviors increase and he literally climbs the wall. He has been diagnosed and labled disabled for his ADHD and by doing my own food journal on him found the red dye is a huge no no for him. My favorite thing is when my son is sick there is no over the counter cough medicine to give him EVERYTHING is red. I just really wish that companies would stick with natural colorings (beet juice for red and such). Our poor children are ingesting so many processed foods anymore its no wonder we are a sick obese society. I read a story that in Great Britian they are not allowed to sell things with artificial colorings it is only in America that it is allowed. As for Duane who talks about his red m&m's you just go ahead and eat them glad it doesn't affect you YET. But if you develop cancer maybe then you might think hmmmm red m&m's may not have been so good.

    July 1, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      Angie, your child's reaction, while not being unique, is also not every child.
      Because some people are deathly allergic to bee & wasp stings should we simply eradicate them from the American landscape?
      How about how some folks get violently ill eating seafood? Should stores and restaurants no longer carry seafood as a dining alternative?
      Should food companies give consumers options so you can more readily purchase dye-less foods? Sure.
      Should food companies have more descriptive labels so that if through research a correlation to potential side effects is shown, the label on a food product might read, "Warning: Contains Red 40 which has been shown to cause hyperactivity in some children." ? Fine.
      But let's leave the banning to things that show affecting much more than a small percentage of the population.

      July 1, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • cameragirl

      Paul -the difference is that there is no REASON for these dyes to be used. There are alternatives out there that will allow the world to have red M&Ms and day-glo orange Cheetos and pink antibiotics if they want. Banning these dyes would not deny anyone of anything.

      July 2, 2010 at 09:13 | Report abuse |
  18. Angela

    @ Belinda I completely agree. My step son has the same problems as your daughter. Red and yellow are his worse. Watch out for the blue too.My step son also watches and reads the labels but sometimes its hard. We have changed are ways in eating as well. Most organic things don't have the dyes but not all. Even shampoos, soaps, dryer sheets and etc have it. These things affect his skin as well. Just about everything seems to have dyes, to name a few, chocolate, hotdogs, butter, cheese...etc. It also depends on the brands.

    @ drinker75 my step son is allergic to other peoples perfumes that has the dyes in them and not because of the smell but because of the dyes. He can be next to someone and if they happen to get to close it really effects him.

    July 1, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      How do you know it is the dye and not the scent?

      July 1, 2010 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  19. Tami

    I would be THRILLED if they discontinued using artificial dyes in foods! My daughter has a food allergy to Red Dye # 40 in particular, to the point of us needing to carry an Epi Pen for it. Now, you can not test for a food allergy to Red Dye # 40, however; Her lips swelled to the point of bleeding once and she vomited after eating Raspberry yogurt. We took her to the Er where we assumed she was allergic to Raspberries. A short time later both of her eyes became so puffy and swelled shut, it looked like she had been punched in the eyes & she could barely see out of them. Another trip to the ER and we were told that she possibly was allergic to something that she touched & then rubbed into her eyes. Yet another short time later & she woke up from a nap with one eye starting to swell closed again. I immediately made an appointment with an allergist who asked that I provide him with everything she had eaten on all three occasions. Of course the first instance I knew what she had eaten because we had gone through that the first time around. The other two occasions I had to really try to remember. He took all of the three days foods & determined that the only thing consistent with all three instances was Red Dye # 40. We stopped giving her ANY foods with Red Dye # 40 in them & have not had another instance since.....almost 5 years later. Therefore, that's all the proof I need to know she's got a food allergy to Red Dye # 40.

    My mother said that when I was young I was very moody. I wonder if I too had a reaction to Red Dye # 40 as a child, or one of the other artificial dyes.

    Red Dye # 40 is also in prescription medicines. I would have to assume other artificial food dyes are as well. There is no need to add these dyes to everything, except for marketing purposes. I would be so happy if they discontinued their use in our foods!

    July 1, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kelly

    My son has "meltdowns" or is just totally out of control when he has any food containing these dyes. We can always tell when he had something he shouldnt have had. He's 4 yrs old and makes sure he doesnt eat anything he thinks has dyes in it. I think even at his young age he knows that if he eats something he shouldn't ,he's gonna feel different. these dyes need to be banned , they are harmful!

    July 1, 2010 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Vicki

    My sister has been confirmed as allergic to red dye 40. A restaurant told her they had cherry Coke (sodas use caramel as a colorant, not chemical dyes, so she can drink those). What they didn't tell her was that they would mix regular Coke with Grenadine to make it. Grenadine has red dye 40 in it. The hives in her ear/nose/throat canal made her unable to hear and almost unable to breath. She wound up spending a week on prednisone as a result. It's a frightening thing to watch someone suffer through, never mind to go through it personally.

    Sure, there are plenty of things that people are allergic to (like peanuts for example) that it doesn't make sense to ban because they have a nutritional purpose. As long as foods are properly labelled so they can be avoided it's manageable. These dyes serve no nutritional purpose and they are in so many things that it's difficult to find things she can eat (especially in a restaurant where you can't read labels and don't know what sauce might have artificial coloring), never mind medications she can take (she has to take special dye-free allergy pills. Am I alone in seeing the irony in being allergic to allergy pills?).

    Oh and by the way, the only company that has ever tested the safety of red dye 40 in an official capacity is the company that makes it. Nope, no conflict of interests there.

    Personally, I'd rather eat drab food that won't potentially kill me, than potentially dye of asphyxiation so I can eat a red M&M. If that makes me crazy so be it.

    (And kudos to soda companies for sticking with caramel coloring even though it is more expensive than red dye 40!)

    July 1, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Nancy Graham

    As an adult, I know that I am very sensitive to red dye. If I eat 1 small piece of candy with red dye, or take just 1 sip of a drink with red dye, I know I will be ill for about 24 hours. Plus, I have to take a dye free benedryl every 2 hours, and I will have to cancel all plans for the next day, and that includes taking a day off from my job. I can't sleep, can't read, can't watch TV, or any acitivies sitting down within that 24 hour time period. It is a horrible experience and one that I don't wish on anyone.......except those on this list who don't believe in sensitivity to dyes.

    July 1, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. John

    I'm allergic to yellow 5 and yellow 6. Now we find out these dyes may cause cancer. Why does the FDA let us be guinea pigs for chemicals?

    July 1, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan

      How do you know you are allergic? I think I might be as well, I am developing hives and more and more I think it is linked to these dyes.

      July 13, 2010 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  24. H

    Hey idiots,

    If you're allergic to something, AVOID it. I'm allergic to dust mites and pollen, so I take the necessary steps to avoid those things and I use a nasal spray.

    Person who said "cancer isn't an old people disease, I was diagnosed at 33"–you didn't really understand what I said, did you? The longer you are alive, the more opportunity you have to develop cancer. I never, ever said that cancer is only something that old people get–in fact, there are plenty of children with cancer. And of course, cancer is complex in that it has genetic and environmental causes, what we call epigentics. The actual scientific DATA will tell you that there are a few environmental causes that are enormous, proven factors in cancer: obesity, smoking, radiation (especially UV radiation from the SUN). However, the pseudoscience on dyes from this so-called "CSPI" is weak and if these people want it to hold any water, they're going to have to pony up big time on their studies.

    Which brings me to you, Chris. My explanations for autism being blamed on vaccines and cancer's prevalence due to longevity are correlations and also backed by consensus in the scientific community.

    July 1, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cameragirl

      H – you're the idiot. Have you been reading? It's not the cancer risk that many see as the problem, it's the side effects in children. The problem lies in the fat that you can't always avoid it. Read my post concerning medications. We are lucky to live in Germany where I can get German dye-free medications if necessary, but that is not always the case in the States. I am visiting family right now in the US and my daughter has some kind of stomach bug. I went to 4 stores yesterday looking for Pedialyte and medicine without dye in them. I finally found, in the 4th store, CVS brand apple flavored Pedialyte without dye...and never did find any medicine. Even white stuff has blue and yellow dyes in it. Now my child is being denied medications and relief of her symptoms because of this crap. Yes, I'm pissed!

      You will still be able to get your precious red M&Ms and all the other things you feel you "need" if the ban goes through, don't worry.

      July 2, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
  25. Val

    My son has Autism and is sensitive to food coloring and additvtives both in food and airborne. The colored cleaners and air deodorizers polute the air. For you that say stay away from what you are allergic to come live with me and try that with my son. He becomes agressive, the more color the more aggression. Going outside our home is a mission in combat and avoidance of any suspected place that is saturated with airborne color such as your local hospital, school, business etc. It would be wonderful if we could avoid it but the only way is never to leave home. Now would you like to live that way?

    July 2, 2010 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. luckygagal

    The dyes & the perfume scents are all made from PETROLEUM. That is why people get headaches, etc. from other people's lotions, perfumes, etc. -chemical concoctions in food or personal care products can't be good for us. I say CLEAN UP OUR FOOD AND OTHER PRODUCTS PLEASE – get rid of the petroleum & help families live better lives.

    July 3, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Susan

    Some neurotransmitters in our brains have a certain chemical composition. The chemical composition of certain artificial colors and flavors is very similar to these neurotransmitters ( as are the molecules of salicylates (natural molecules in aspirin and some fruits and veggies) When some susceptible individuals eat artificial dyes and flavors which have this similar chemical composition, the brain perceives the molecules present and stops making the neurotransmitters, thinking they are already there. The absence of the actual neurotransmitters causes the symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention and impulsiveness. When these individuals take Ritalin and other amphetamine-like substances the brain is stimulated to make the neurotranasmiters and the symptoms go away. It is, however, in some people's opinions, more advantageous to avoid the molecules and not have to take the stimulants.

    As others have said above, a good source of info about this is the Feingold association at http://www.feingold.org/

    July 8, 2010 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Grim

    FYI

    Link for Center for Science in the Public Interest is WRONG....should be :

    http://www.cspinet.org/

    July 12, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Shelly

    For all the naysayers, please answer me this – why would other countries ban these dyes if they weren't bad for us? Why is it OK to feed our kids strawberry sundaes @ McDonalds w/ red dye in them instead of using REAL strawberries like they do in the UK? Why would you want to feed yourself that kind of junk? Personally, I'd rather eat food that is colored with FOOD rather than dyes made from non-food products.

    September 15, 2010 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jods

    As someone else who also has a severe allergy to red 40, I would love to see it banned. Almost had a bowl of strawberry frosted miniwheats kill me. At least force producers to list the colors by name instead of a blanket "color" term. Makeup companies do this. Why not food? Shouldn't what you injest be more important?

    September 26, 2010 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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  32. Sammie

    For 50 years I suffered from migraines and could never link a food to them because it takes 36-40 hours from ingesting the food with red dye in it until I had the migraine. If really bad, I would have nausea, excessive bowel movements and always pain on the left side of my head for days unless I take a very expensive vasoconstrictor type drug. I finally linked it to Wendy's Chili after several episodes and investigating what was in their chili. I made a complaint at their web site. Upon discovering the red 40 connection I have found so many foods that a person would not dream would have red dye in them like chocolate ice cream and chocolate candy and all candy and gum. I read every label and ingredient now and have cut back on my migraines. However, it is hard to find dye free prescription meds and over the counter ones also. I believe that they are sneaking it into things like cranberry sauce and some canned pasta sauces and are not putting it on the labels because I have had reactions to them recently. Maybe the manufacturer is getting some of the ingredients from another source that might spray his cranberries with dye to make them look fresher to sell better. I have found that some apples are done this way. Or maybe the tomato puree that is listed in a sauce is bought from another source that does add red 40. Is the final canning company obligated by law to list dye 40 only if he puts it in and is not obligated if a vendor from whom he buys ingredients puts it in initially?
    I think dyes in our foods should be eliminated and will finally be found to cause as much illness and misery as cigarettes have. I now consider any thing that has been commercially prepared and is red to be off limits but one can not go by color of the end product alone. We must read the labels. I no longer eat out much since you just never know what the ingredients are.

    January 16, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. serialpost

    Why are you don't write about politic?

    February 19, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Grammer Nazi

    Alot isn't a word. The proper term is "a lot". As in "And every year, about 15 million pounds of these dyes wind up in our food, with A LOT of it ending up in things like candy, fruit drinks and cereals."

    September 5, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Jennifer

    As a mother of a 3 year old it really makes me sad when I have to tell her no on so many things she likes. Red 40 has consumed our life. I am not sure why they have to put it in so many items. Things that you would never think it is in, well it is in it..And with her, any high red number such has red33 hurts her. It is even in medicine, which makes it hard to find stuff she needs if she becomes sick. If she has even a tiny bit it makes her, Aggresive, hyper, mean, she hits, kicks, yells, cries. This started when she was a year old and it took us 6 months to figure out what was going on. There are still times when she may accidently get it, and boy do we know it. At a year and half old, NO ONE in either side of the family wanted to be around her. Now they enjoy her..I support taking this off the market. There are so many things this stuff can cause..Not just these behavior symptoms but life threatening symptoms as well. Get educated on it, read on it..Read everything u can. As a mother I was seeing her headed towards being diagnosed with ADHD...and i was going to do everything i could not to put her on medicine..

    February 18, 2013 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. alana

    Yellow5 is pig oil and red 40 is crushed beatles

    May 10, 2013 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Karen

    I learned in a very personal way that Red Dye 40, besides being listed on many food labels, is also in my prescription Thyroid medication and is not listed on any of the material provided by the drug company. It is, however, listed on their web page. These dyes should not be a part of prescription medicines or, if they are, there should be a clear warning as to the possible side effects.

    August 2, 2013 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.