Synthetic dyes have been associated with adverse effects on attention and activity in children. Now, The European Union, has started requiring most foods containing artificial food dyes to be labeled. The label will say these dyes”may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” In Great Britain, synthetic dyes have been banned after research found connection between hyperactivity and attention deficit in children and these dyes.
The FDA is being urged to follow suit by several organizations, members of Congress, Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington DC and more. In a recent report issued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the group points out how synthetic dyes contribute to medical conditions like cancer, allergic reaction, and hyperactivity. Everything from our favorite candy, to cereal to salad dressing contain these synthetic dyes. According to the report, 15 million pounds of synthetic food dyes are put in processed food and beverages.
Unfortunately, despite the research, the amount of food dyes is on the rise. But more importantly, the scary bit of the report is that the FDA’s acting commissioner in 1985 stated that “red [dye] 3 can induce cancer.” And yet the FDA has done nothing to stop manufacturers from using the dye! Children eat pounds of snack foods, cereals and frozen meals containing Red 3.
According to the article from CSPI, in the UK, McDonald’s Strawberry Sundae is topped with a red topping that is made from strawberries, not like the Red 40 that is used in the U.S.A. Safer dyes are in the market but the FDA has not encouraged food manufacturers to switch to safer natural dyes according to the CSPI report.
But there is a way around these synthetic dyes. Companies like Chefmaster, India Tree and Seelects’ Nautral Food Colors make organic and vegetable based natural decorating colors so you can still decorate a birthday cake for that special someone and not use synthetic dyes!
So stay away from processed foods for another reason now! We have known for many years that processed foods were not good for us and now we can add another reason to the long list.
Stay well and eat healthy!