What You Must Know about Food Dyes
"The FDA regulates about 2,500 food additives that you could be ingesting."
BY: Jo Ann LeQuang
1. When it comes to food labels reporting the use of food dyes, you are entering the Bizarrouniverse. If a label describes something as “artificial coloring,” that is actually a good thing because the term “artificial color” refers to a coloring derived from nature. If a food coloring is cooked up in a laboratory, the FDA requires that it appear on the nutritional label as a name and a number, such as Red 40 or Yellow 5.
2. Please do not assume you can avoid food dyes by eating fruits and vegetables. Dyes are sometimes used to orange-up the citrus fruit or to beautify other whole foods.
3.There is very good evidence … now stay with me … that certain children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are made worse by certain food dyes. Medical journals have been reporting on this since the 1970s and the FDA has been denying it until 2011, when the FDA suddenly said it was true. Parents of ADHD children should know that science has been aware for decades that some food dyes are no good for your kids. Since no kid needs artificial food dyes, avoid them.
4. Speaking of ADHD, Ritalin®, a drug used to treat the condition, contains titanium dioxide and Ferric Oxide Yellow, an inorganic yellow pigment. These additives are not associated with worsening ADHD, but do we really need to dye our medicines?
5. Many food dyes in common use in the USA are banned in Great Britain. Contrary to industry assumptions, Brits are still eating their M&Ms—they just use different colorings.