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 (591 Responses)
  1. Bill@salisburync

    I know my situation is unusual, but I have a documented migraine problem associated with Red dye #40. This is not a "maybe," folks... I almost died from cherry-flavored cough medicine artificially colored red. As someone who is sensitive to this kind of thing, I have to watch everything "red" I eat, and it's everywhere – soft drinks, desserts, candy, etc. Basically, if it has sugar in it and it's red, there's about a 90%+ chance it has red dye #40 in it (in America, anyway). If this stuff is bad for other people too, you need to know that you are probably consuming MUCH more of it than you are aware of.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allergic

      I understand your pain. I've had the same problems. I was in and out of the hospital for 7 days b/c of Red 40. Xrays, cat scans, and a spinal tap... migraines, vomiting, partial blindness. All b/c of a piece of candy, or some fruit compote that shouldn't have had dye in it in the first place. I still hate cherries b/c of the flavoring/red dye combo. I hate having to ask people in restaurants if their food is dyed or 'real.'

      July 1, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse |
  2. Diana

    Hey Duane,

    Your stupidity is showing. You actually misspelled genius (he, he, he). Make sure you don't look like an a$$ yourself when you are attacking other people's intelligence.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Frank

    It's hard to take anyone seriously who writes an article and uses ALOT as a word. Yeah, simple thing but loses A LOT of credibility!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. shmamac

    so, just out of curiousity, why does this matter? supposedly anything will cause behavior problems in children, especially if it has sugar in it(which most of these things with dyes in it have). if you dont want to expose your kids to anything dangerous, moniter what they eat. its that simple. dont want cancer? well, sorry your pretty much s.o.l. Haven't you heard? everything causes cancer. and for those of you who want to comment and say something stupid, whatever, im just voicing my opinion. as far as im concerned, this is not a discussion group, its a place to speak your mind and leave it at that. 🙂

    July 1, 2010 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allergic

      The hyper activity in children is a media draw to grab attention. It matters b/c it is in everything and there is little to no control concerning food dyes in food. Look at some labels, it's in everything. You can find dyes in everything from boxed foods, to beverages, to your fresh produce stand, and red meat. Companies aren't required to tell you about it either.
      It's important to me because I'm allergic to Red dyes. I check every label and smell every piece of "fresh" produce I buy. The dyes have a very distinctive unnatural smell. There is no reason to color everything... and if it must be colored, there are natural methods of doing it.

      July 1, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
  5. Marcy

    Finally a dialog about something we learned in the 70's. I was asked to place my son on the Feingold Diet by his teachers at Mandrine Farm School in about 1977. I was busy so didn't get around to it right away, but while falling asleep in the college library studying accounting...well the Feingold Diet seemed like a good diversion. I found the book that changed my son's life.

    The Pharmaceutical and grocer's associations must have been in cahoots as reported because there was quickly a squash put on this fact driven approach to hyperactivity as it was called. We did not tell his teachers that we changed Coke to Sprite, or Hershey's to Mounds, or Captain Crunch to Cheerios. We wanted to see if the teachers noticed a difference and in 3 days they call up to say "You put him on the diet didn't you?" He went from not being about to remember how to spell words to being in stable club. Basically from E to A if short order. Once in a hurry to study for an economics test I let him order McDonald's cookies. That cookie wasn't into his stomach from is mouth before he was flying around the restaurant doing imitations of Groucho Marx. The kid was a riot...just could not stop when on artificial colors and favors. Vanillin and red were the worst as I recall.

    If you have the time to invest in yourself or a child check it out.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Feingold mom

      Marcy, you took the words right out of my mouth. It has made a world of difference for my ADHD son. I agree with some of the other posters that ADHD is overdiagnosed. I don't like to take medication unless it's absolutely necessary, and I raise my kids that way. As a result I tried the Feingold program for my son and for a while it worked wonders. He was a different child. As parents of true ADHD children know, no solution will work forever what works changes as your child grows. Now my son needs a minimum dose of medication, but we still adhere to the Feingold to keep his need for medication low and to help the medication be more effective. It has also dramatically reduced the flare ups of his chronic excema.

      It is tragic how many parents don't understand the effects of the chemicals that are put in most packaged foods, and how many of those foods are adversited on TV to children. Parents think they're doing their kids a favor by giving them yogurt, but if that yogurt is neon pink, you're doing them more harm than good.

      July 1, 2010 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
    • Liz Brannan

      We have followed the Feingold Diet for years. God bless em', they made a world of difference in our lives!

      July 1, 2010 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
  6. Allergic

    I am one of those people who is allergic to Red dyes, mostly Red 40, but I've also had reactions to Red 3. You don't realize how much of your food is colored artificially until you start getting ill because of that coloring. It's hard to eat out at restaurants because the dye is in the food there, but no one working there knows or knows how to check for it. I typically don't know it's in there until the food comes and I see the glowing red or smell the dye (Red 40 has a very distinctive smell). I would appreciate better labeling. I hate buying a drink from a soda machine only to find that it's red, and I have to give or throw it away. I hate ordering food from a restaurant and sending it back b/c it has dye in it. The most basic of things is filled with dye, you'd think you could easily avoid it. But you can't. For that reason, something needs to be done.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      And don't forget interrogating waiters to see if the Ice Tea is real or not! I feel like such a brat doing that but I have found that's one of the main places Red #40 is hidden and I might not know about it. That and salmon.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
  7. Tigresse

    Some interesting comments here...seem to be 2 camps of thought. I would "err" on the side of organic anyday over GMO, factory-produced foods. Since the end of WWII, we've gone from eating foods that were naturally organic, to mass-produced foods, from our meats to our dairy to the massive agroculture of fruits and vegetables. This all has to do with urbanization on a massive scale, fewer farmers needed to produce large amounts of food, to the booming world population that has gone unchecked without a major global war since the 1940's. (Not that I'm advocating another global war as a solution to population reduction, certainly not!)

    Ever wonder why we're living longer? Because medical science has made it POSSIBLE to live longer when in the past nature would take its own course, ie. cancer, disease, etc., and people would die off at a younger age. Extending life expectancy does not necessarily contribute to quality of life and coupled with the deification of modern medicine, many Westerners in particular, have the false idea that somehow our lives got better. With this lifestyle and increased affluence comes the paradox of increased cancer rates and heart disease and diabetes.

    While I don't have the ultimate solutions here, nor am I an expert, I do think we need to ask better questions. If extending life expectancy can't stave off certain diseases, such as cancer or heart disease – actually the reverse seems to be the case – then WHAT exactly are we doing wrong in the big picture?

    I propose that HOW our food is processed, combined with increased environmental toxins that play with our heatlh, we are playing with fire.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dan

    How is this news? THis has been known for YEARS! (But, I am grateful for it finally getting some air time.)

    Check out feingold dot org for other information.

    And, don't count on the FDA to help; they've been bought by industry for years.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. thenextstep

    Surely its got NOTHING to do with the synthetic weiner casing..................

    July 1, 2010 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. algorythm

    About time someone does something about these artificial colors in our food. Don't you think over 20 years of exposure in our bodies it would do harm? I believe these will be like cigarettes in the future, where they will have warning signs on use and proven to cause cancer.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. sumguy2006

    This sounds an awful lot like the scare about immunizations causing autism is kids. Wasn't that farce started by a concerned "scientist". I applaud when real scientists, use real science to track down real cancer causes. However, the "science" here sounds very thin at best. Maybe this is just poor reporting by CNN, but where are the facts. Simple stating dyes "raise concern" means nothing...how about some facts about doses, and outcomes? Has anyone checked if these scientists work a Pumpkin Lobby?

    July 1, 2010 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sue

    My youngest of 3 children has a sensitivity to red dye that makes his chronic acid reflux go haywire. He has learned over the years not to ingest the stuff if he can avoid it. Which is fine with me, because it means no Kool-Aid, no junk foods with high concentrations of dye. It took us almost 6 months to figure out what the exact cause was, and once we removed it from his diet (school & daycare were the main culprits because we couldn't control what they fed him until we proved the dye was the issue), he has been fine.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. S E

    Finally get that garbage out of my food!

    July 1, 2010 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Really?

    I'm in favor of this motion. When I was little, I had HORRIBLE reactions to anything with Red 40 in it... ie: Gushers, Hawaiian Punch, etc. You know, stuff kids love. I would break out into itchy rashes at the joints, be painfully hyper, and then eventually crash with a pounding headache. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world to experience similar symptoms, either. Get the dyes out.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. DeadNotSleeping

    Yellow #5 gives me migraines. It took me FOREVER to figure this out, because Yellow #5 is in EVERYTHING – chips (Doritos), pastries (Pilsbury's crescents), candies (Starbursts, vanilla wafers), salsas (Moe's adds Yellow #5 to their tomatillo salsa, as well as their fish and their veggies)

    Even if only 1 in 10,000 people have a sensitivity to this chemical, it irks me to no end that it is considered a "safe" additive. It's a COLOR! It isn't nutritionally viable, adds nothing to the food experience that couldn't be replicated by something more natural.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Eric

    Seriously, these dyes do nothing but add color that attracts kids to junk food. Why not scale back and add a dose of realism and practicality?

    July 1, 2010 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mike

    Dyes in foods make no sense. Why we ingest unnatural products that do nothing to increase flavor, provide added nutrition, or increase the shelf life of food products is absurd. If my soda is tan instead of bright yellow, why do I care? Some of these colors most certainly cause chemical reactions within the body and they aren't needed. I don't know if we need a law for this, as a lot of companies are scaling back on this on their own (due to the current natural food craze going on), but the colors should go. The cost of these colors is actually quite high when looking at the food industry as a whole.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Karen

    As a mother of a child who has an allergy to yellow dye, I am ALL for banning these dyes. My daughter is allergic to chocolate, yellow dye, cottonseed, and sesame seed. Do you know how many things have yellow dye and cottonseed in it? It's unreal and it's so very very hard to find foods for her to be able to eat – ones that she likes and ones that she can eat while at school, snack time, etc. We can't even take her to most restaurants because of these dyes, etc. I have searched and searched for others who have food allergies like this because we feel very alone in the matter. The FDA does everything for those who have milk/nut allergies so they can walk into a restaurant, etc and know if the food has those ingredients in it, but there is NOTHING to let us know at restaurants if they have yellow dye, or other rare allergens. It's a shame.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sarah

    Finally some sanity. I am one of many people I know who have allergic reactions to Red #40, and I know several others who were in the same boat as children – told we had psychological problems and needed meds but were saved by a strict diet. So many other kids and parents will be treated as if their kids have mental problems when all they need to do is put down the Kool Aid and cheap hot dogs. I am 34 years old, healthy and have a normal life, and a little Red #40 will keep me up for 2 days straight. A lot of Red #40 and bad things happen. I have to be very careful about what I eat and drink. It's hard since it's so prevalent.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Rick Box

    My daughter is allergic to red dye #40. The most nonsensical thing it's added to is BENADRYL liqiuid for kids – you know, for when a kid is having an allergic reaction? I wish they would at least remove all these dyes from medicine, if nothing else.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sue

      Rick Box – there is a Benadryl for diabetics that is CLEAR – no sugar, no added dyes. I buy it for my youngest, who is sensitive to Red #40. He has airborne pollen allergies (like many people do), and occasionally breaks out in hives for reasons we can't discern, other than to think he came in contact with some unknown allergen that caused him to break out. The Benadryl for diabetics is a Godsend.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • wren7

      I used to take Benadryl caplets (for adults) and was able to get a "dye-free" version that was clear. It was more expensive of course. I bought it simply because I didn't want DYE added to a PILL, which seemed ludicrous to me. Now I can't find it, so the company probably stopped making it. To put dye in a medication is just stupid.

      July 1, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • wren7

      Sue, where are you finding the clear Benadryl? See my post - I used to be able to find it, I think labeled "dye free," but cannot find it anymore.

      July 1, 2010 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
  21. McCluck

    Uhg, the public is stupid to the point that a company can increase its product sales by making it pretty but toxic. Its gotten to the point that if some people see where there food actually came from (a shrimp with a shell, a cow, a chicken...) they dont want to eat it. Talk about living in a fairytale world. Imagine how dumb the average persone is, and by definition half must be dumber than that...

    There needs to be a public outcry but it seems this day and age, no one can assemble enouph to put a stop to the abuses by huge companies. If we could get people to boycott, we may start getting better products. With a rise in all sorts of auto immune diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, etc. we need our FDA to step it up and do what they were supposed to do.-protect us. Even from the elusive chemicals that only have an effect over a lifetime.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick Box

      >>Imagine how dumb the average persone is, and by definition half must be dumber than that...
      That would be the definition of median, not average.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
  22. Bryan

    Get it through your heads, anything not made by Mother Nature required for us to survive that we put in our bodies is foriegn WILL hurt us if to much of it is ingested/inhaled/exposed. For some things, a little won't hurt, our bodies have ways of removing it. If that system is over taxed, it can and will kill us. Those of you who slept through high school biology don't get it. Good, thats more room and oxygen for those of us with half a brain!

    July 1, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mark

    Science or no science, anecdotal or not, I can say that Red 40 is bad. After years of suffering with debilitating migraines, and painstakingly tracking the various triggers to my migraines, I systematically (not scientifically) identified one common ingredient to food-based triggers for my migraines: RED 40. I eliminated all foods with Red 40 and I am mostly migraine free after suffering 2-3 migraines a week for more than 10 years. Whether it is officially banned or not, I will never purchase anything that contains Red 40.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Alex

    those studies that "proved" the dyes to be carcinogenic were poorly designed; the researchers ramped up the dosage until a response was evident. However, perception is everything, so the food industry had best find something else to use (which will eventually be "proven" dangerous as well).

    July 1, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Greg

    This Country fills us with so many chemicals and treat us like morons. There possibly was a day when the color of a food increased or decreased a desire to consume it. But today, with all the health risks linked to cancer and other illnesses people would prefer (I now that I would) to consume foods which are as natural as possible. In Europe they don't allow such ingredients and people prefer it that way. Are we so shallow that we need a food to not only be tasty but aesthetically pleasing as well? I don't think so. As in most situations it comes down to money and this Country allows money to trump health in many instances. I remember when I was a kid that there were concerns about food colorings and artificial ingredients being linked to cancers and such so this isn't new. I don't know about others but I don't want my family to consume foods that are not natural and unfortunately this country and it's politics are slaves to the chemical industry.
    Face it, they are everywhere from pesticides to food colorings and something needs to be done.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Barbara Lock

    I applaud this recommendation! My son is allergic to red # 40, but may also be allergic to the yellows and also to carmine, which is that "natural" food colorant or food dye made from crushed bugs. We spent years trying to figure out why he broke out in itchy hives, why his lips swelled. I thought I was going nuts! Why is this recommendation even needed. Is it so difficult for food producers to restrict food ingredients to actual food? http://www.medpie.com/nutrition/featured-videos/carmine

    July 1, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Chris


    Although you try to sound very persuasive, your comments are not really well thought out. You poorly try to distinguish between CAUSALITY and CORRELATION while doing the same thing you argue against. You conclude that there is a CAUSALITY between an increase in Autism and a decrease in retardation but isn't that only a CORRELATION? You conclude that an increaese in life expectancy is the CAUSE of an increase in cancer when once again it is only a CORRELATION.

    It is not your fault, but you are inexperienced and naive. You believe that the "established" medical journals are the only answer. They are not. Time and time again they are wrong and slow. In fact many major vaccines, etc. were counter to the establishment. Salk's development of the polio vaccine using a dead virus instead of a live virus is a typical example.

    Links between various pesticides, asbestos, etc. and cancer did not start with a conclusive large study. It begins with links. Not all links end up being correct but if you ever become a parent you will follow these "links" very closely.

    H, I used to have the same views as you until I became a little more experienced about the ways of the world. I learned that choosing between listening to what a mother says and a pediatrician, you listen to the mother. Most pediatricians will agree.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Lillian Carmichael

    I am allergic to Yellow Food Color #5. It causes me to break our in hives. My arms or legs will turn red and itch like crazy. A lot of food has it in it. I read the labels. A lot of cookies and yellow cake mix a no no. I get shots every three months, use a special lotion after I bathe, use a prescription itch cream and take benedryl. It is no fun to have a hive attack.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Christie

    I am the mother of a eight year old autistic boy and to those of you who are scoffing at the thought that a food dye(s) can adversely affect a child's behavior, you are not only ignorant but naive. Somewhere along the way, society has decided that flavor must equal color and vise versa. I challenge anyone who has an open mind and is not educated or simply has not paid attention to the prevalence of food dyes: Open your cabinets. Read labels. If it is not a necessity for flavor, and food dyes are not, then why are they in there?

    July 1, 2010 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Erin

    I think it's pretty obvious that natural is better.. if there's a one in a trillion chance you'll get cancer eating candy... ok, not bad. But then there's also the one in a trillion chance you'll get cancer eating Chinese food loaded with MSG... and your soda.. and your processed meats and cheeses... and your cookies... People go on and on about how there's suuuuch a small percentage of dangerous substances in their food – but when that's all they eat, it's going to finally add up to a trillion. If it costs too much for a company to make their foods bright colors naturally – rather than using something that's a tiny bit dangerous... why don't they just make the product a milder color? I'd be willing to sacrifice a few shades from my mustard for the sake of my longterm health

    July 1, 2010 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Edward

    I stopped ingesting these dyes a long time ago. I just eat cornflakes and drink things like snapple and other naturally flavored beverages. I only drink soda when I go out drinking, which isn't very often.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. karen

    My son has very severe reactions to food dyes. I kept a food journal to try to figure out why he occasionally had a severe neck/ chin rash.He would also become very irrational and display tics and spasms.

    Did I consult doctors? Yes over and over. He had many allergy tests. (never for food dye though). His main doctor concluded that his symptoms where the result "reactions" to antibiotics. Seemingly every antibiotic! A light went on when I realized that the antibiotics that caused him such problems were pink, and the antibiotic that he had no reaction to was white. Read the labels...red 40. From that day on I kept a food journal. From which I concluded that red 40, and yellow lake were to be avoided. Give my 6 year old son an apple and he will munch away and chat with you about subatomic particles and the amazing Universe. Give him anything with dye in it, and he will sit there and stare at you with vacant eyes, twitching, and uttering negative thoughts about himself and everything around him.

    So basically he eats almost no "food" from the shelves of the grocery store. He eats only fruits, veg, proteins,whole grains and homemade breads and baked goods.No soda. But club soda and juice.If he has any candy treats I make sure they contain only natural dyes, like beetroot. Does this diligence in diet cost more? No.More time consuming? Definitely. But so worth the effort!

    July 1, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      It is impossible for some people to comprehend that YOU could be right and the DOCTORS you saw wrong.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      About 18 years ago I ate a box of hot tamales. Got a really bad rash on neck, chest, shoulders. My mom (who is a Drug Therapy professor at a medical school) said I must be allergic to Red #40. Somehow she knew/read about this way back then.

      July 1, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
  33. RegularJoe7

    See the MSDS for Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jessi

    I can't take this seriously when "alot" is spelled wrong. BUT, I totally agree with banning anything in our food that is 1) not necessary and 2) a carcinogens and contaminants.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. JustSaying

    Dyes added to foods was prompted by the consumer market who through the power of their wallet, demanded foods to look this way or that way or taste this way or that way. Where there is a demand there will always be someone or some business that will fill that void. If it's great enough and response to the "someone" is successful, the similar businesses will soon follow suit – it's how business works – supply and demand. The consumer will change the market by their pocketbook again just the same. But, it is not an overnight process nor will it be broadly applied if a majority do not find or believe it to be a significant issue relative to other issues.

    And, looking back to previous decades and generations, people ate at home and prepared their own foods. They didn't expect that it be already processed and available out of a can or a box. Neither, did parents let their children drink something past water or perhaps lemonade when lemons were in season. People didn't grab that fast-food crap virtually daily as they do now – especially when pregnant and potentially starting the allergy chain in the developing baby.

    And before folks get on their high horse about all chemicals that are used these days, I'm sure people would be screaming foul if the cost of produce went up 1000% because so much rotted before it got to market or if you were required to always wash all produce in beach water to hope to clean off the contamination so that you didn't get internal parasites, dysentery and the like that kills a great many people world-wide ... especially children, the elderly and the weakened.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Doc

    Personally, I didn't ask for your opinion in the first damn place; death is inevitable, so piss off and lemme live my life with the things that make me happy. Things that are getting far fewer with the economy, war, oil spill and this socialistic regime we have in D.C. that want to take everything from me yet give everything to those that don't belong here legally.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Edward

    What reason do people have to defend these dyes anyway, they can't be good for you and since it does nothing at all for the foods it's treated with any negative side effect is bad and its use needs to stop.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Karen

    Do we really need 15 million pounds of artificial garbage in our food? The UK proves the same job can be done with natural sources.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Mike Kapral

    Did anyone else notice that they linked to Canadian Scholars' Press Inc webpage?

    Way to go again CNN!

    July 1, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Paul

    Perhaps some of the time and money going into finding all the things that are allegedly or have a chance of being bad for us should go into research finding the part of the genetic code that pre-disposes people to be succeptible to some things.
    Why your child acts hyper because of chemicals in food dyes but others are perfectly normal could be akin to why some people have uncontrollable sneezing fits and/or they break out in hives when they come in contact with pet dander while plenty of others, seemingly the majority, have zero problem.
    Don't misunderstand me. I am all for proper research being done to determine the safety of anything we are going to put into our bodies. I just think the same amount of research should be put into determining why that 1-in-X-thousand gets Y disease because of item Z that's being tested. The reason being is that identifying the external trigger and then eliminating that from a list of things you put into your body does zero tell you a) why your body reacts that way to it and b) what else your body may react similarly to.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Karen

    It became obvious to me that my oldest son got nasty and hostile when he consumed red dye. Youngest son went hyper with yellow. Clean the crap out of your kid's diets and see the difference a couple of weeks without them bring. Your children deserve the best life you can give them, and feeding safe, natural food is a small but easy thing to do. Don't sacrifice your children's future for convenience. I can say this, I raised four children, worked long hours and still managed to cook healthy. Just takes planning.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Karen

    Hey H- want to know the truth? http://www.naturalnews.com

    July 1, 2010 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Greg

    JustSaying.... Agree with you with some of what you are saying but how are other developed nations that don't allow such ingredients doing it? Being that the US is supposed to be the best country in the world how is it that we cannot find a way to avoid such potential food hazards and keep it natural? We can. There are organic substitutes that will do the job and if they are used by all they will be produced to be inexpensive but what would happen to the chemical industry? Money is the true evil in this country. Would I pay a little bit more for an organic food? So many are doing it right now but too many companies want to make the most money as fast as possible. Besides the affects when you consume pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals they eventually end up in our ground water which in turn make their way to rivers and steams and eventually the ocean. You read about the problems now with farm raised fish because they are mostly raised in rivers and contained areas. These areas are poisoned with chemicals from ground water and it's only getting worse. This country doesn't like to scare its citizens and tries to keep such things under wrap until it's too late. We need alternatives and we need to implement them now!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Alan

    Most sodas contain less than 0.004 grams of food dye while there is about 40 grams of sugar per 12 oz. can. It is much more likely that it is the sugar making your kid hyper. The hyperactivity study done in the UK was based around dyes that have AZO bonds. The study was completely flawed as they injected the mice with thousands of times more dye than any human could ever consume in their lifetime. The study also suggested the ban or labeling of all synthetic food dyes including non AZO dyes like quinoline yellow even though their study showed no data linking any hyperactivity to non-AZO dyes. Yes there are allergic reactions to some food dyes especially Tartrazine yellow #5 and Allura red #40 but it is quite rare, much rarer than nut, shellfish, and even NATURAL fruit allergies. It is fine if you choose for your family not to eat or drink product that contain these compounds, but at least read the actual research and let me choose for myself what I am going to eat or drink.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. JA in VA

    My wife and I were amazed recently to see the difference in our 4 year old after he eats something with Red 40. About a month or two ago our neighbor happened to mention the effect Red 40 has on their child and we were curious if that was what caused the extreme hype-activity we sometimes noticed in our son. We started monitoring the ingredients in the food he ate, but did not necessarily change his diet. We noticed an undeniable increase in hyperactivity every time he ate something with Red 40. My wife did a little research one night on-line, and we are now cutting out all Red 40 (as well as other artificial colors) from his diet. There are natural ways to color food (beet juice extract, etc), but I imagine it simply costs more to produce so companies don't do it. I'm a staunch free-market conservative, and don't like the government dictating what I can and can't eat, so I would much prefer everybody was educated on these type of dangers to the point where we, as a society, forced companies to change by not buying their product. I don't believe the hyperactivity is a side-effect that all children (or adults) will experience from eating artificial coloring, but there are enough other dangers from eating a petroleum based product to convince everybody to simply buy food with no artificial coloring.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. is this normal

    i ate m&ms and my poop turned green for 2 days

    July 1, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Spanish Inquisition

    This kind of poisoning was known in Europe already back in the 80s. Nothing new. Only thing seems to be Americans don't like it when government gets involved to take care of them. Sleep tight America !

    July 1, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Sarah

    The crazy thing about this article is the fact that I've known about the harmful effects of these dyes since I was a child. I remember learning about this in my sixth grade class...and that was in 1982! What an incredibly aware, and impressionable, teacher I had at that age.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ,,,,,,

      she didn't teach you how to use commas though

      July 1, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
  49. Alan

    Sarah, the funny thing is that you obviously have no idea what you are actually talking about. The "harmful" effects that you learned about in your sixth grade class in 1982 were likely a result of the 1976 FDA ban on Amaranth Red #2, which by the way is STILL completely legal in Europe. Facts people facts!!!!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Sara, Didn't you know that Alan was there when your teacher spoke with you in 1982 and knows for a "fact" what was said?

      July 1, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
  50. Alan

    I said, "were likely", never said I knew that is what she was talking about, but considering the knowledge the FDA and the american public had back then this is a good guess. Do you have any "facts" about any ill affects that were known in 1982 Chris?

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

      Do I remember my knowledge about food dyes in 1982? Sorry I can't remember. What I do know is that you have no idea about what somebody else knew in 1982.

      July 1, 2010 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      I do have a very good idea what the FDA and the general public knew about synthetic food colorings in 1982. So where else do you think this teacher would have gotten her info then? There was very little knowledge out there about any ill effects in 1982, most was speculation and much of it was centered around red #2 being a carcinogen from a study from Russia in 1971. Previous to that in the 1950s Orange #1 was banned after kids that had consumed large amounts of it fell ill. Other than that there were not any major studies that found food dyes to be harmful.

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