Here's an article about a group that wants to get 8 specific food dyes banned because they allegedly cause behavior problems is children. One side says the research supports the idea, other side says it doesn't. The reason I'm posting is because at the bottom are the names of the 8 dyes that are involved in the discussion. I thought it might be of value for anyone who wants to try to limit her childrens' exposure.
Consumer Group Seeks Ban on Some Food Dyes
By Kevin Freking
Wednesday, June 4, 2008;
A consumer advocacy group called on the Food and Drug Administration yesterday to ban the use of eight artificial colorings in food, asserting that the additives may cause hyperactivity and behavior problems in some children.
Controlled studies over three decades have shown that children's behavior can be worsened by some dyes, said the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The group noted that the British government had successfully pressured manufacturers to switch to safer colorings.
Over the years, the FDA has consistently disputed the center's assertion. The agency's Web site says: "Although this hypothesis was popularized in the 1970s, well-controlled studies since then have produced no evidence that food additives cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children."
Julie Zawisza, an FDA spokeswoman, said that color additives undergo safety reviews before approval and that samples of each artificial coloring are tested. She said the agency reviewed one of the studies that the center cites in calling for a ban.
"[We] didn't find a reason to change our conclusions that the ingredients are safe for the general population," Zawisza said. "Also note that the European Food Safety Agency has a similar view as FDA's."
Dyes are in countless foods, sometimes to simulate the color of fruits or vegetables. They are particularly prevalent in cereals, candies, sodas and snacks pitched to kids.
"The purpose of these chemicals is often to mask the absence of real food, to increase the appeal of a low-nutrition product to children, or both," said the center's executive director, Michael F. Jacobson. "Who can tell the parents of kids with behavioral problems that this is truly worth the risk?"
The petition asks the FDA to require a warning label on foods with artificial dyes while it considers the group's request to ban the dyes. The colorings the center seeks to ban are: Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6.