FDA to Hold Hearing on Food Coloring Safety

For decades, scientists and doctors have debated whether artificial food dyes commonly used to add color to processed foods might cause adverse health effects, particularly in children.

Dr. Ben Feingold, an allergist, was one of the first prominent doctors to suggest a relationship between diet and behavioral problems in children, in the 1970′s. After observing positive changes in both allergic symptoms and general behavior in patients who cut artificial food dyes and other food additives out of their diets, he recommended that children with behavioral disorders such as ADHD adhere to the Feingold Diet, which eliminates foods containing artificial food dyes and preservatives. 

Since then there has been a great deal of scientific debate over the effectiveness of Dr. Feingold’s plan for treating behavioral issues in children. But in 2004, the results of a British study of preschool-aged children strongly indicated that foods containing artificial food coloring can cause hyperactive behavior in all children, including healthy children without ADHD or other disorders. 

A second British study in 2007, which tested both preschool and elementary school age children, reached the same conclusion — parents and educators reported significantly more hyperactive behavior in children who regularly consumed beverages containing artificial food dyes and preservatives than those who did not.  

The growing evidence that artificial food coloring can cause adverse health effects in children caused the European Union’s Food Standards Agency to call for a ban on six common artificial food colorants in 2008; European countries have been phasing out the use of unnecessary artificial dyes in food ever since. 

But in the United States, calls to review the safety of artificial food dyes by concerned parents, food safety experts and consumer advocacy organizations like the Center for Science in the Public Interest have gone unanswered by the federal government for years, until now.

In March 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a public hearing to discuss whether enough scientific evidence exists to prove that artificial food coloring is harmful to children’s health. Ahead of the hearing, American citizens are invited to contact the FDA with their concerns.

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

73 comments

Carol K.
Carol K.3 years ago

Dannon Activia Yogurt STILL contains Carmine/Cochineal Extract in their Blueberry flavor. Wrote, called....they said bug juice/crushed beetles are 'natural' and thus allows them to say it's all natural product....causes asthma, allergies, and is NOT natural for humans to eat bugs. When I asked why not use beets, real vegetable food colors...simple response - It's more expensive! Columbia is making a killing sending us tanker truck loads of these garbage insects crushed for dumb American's who want their food colored cheap.

Elizabeth Carmack
Elizabeth C.4 years ago

Noted. Thanks.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago

Noted!

Doug Mainor
Doug Mainor4 years ago

I have seen this in myself, my daughter and my granddaughter. Enough already!

David L.
David L.4 years ago

My child is allergic to Red Dye 40, it makes her WILD, and she can't control herself. I wonder how many kids are being treated for hyperactivity with the easy way out (drugs) that only need to be monitored for what they are injesting.

Carmen Bouwhuis Jansen

Intresting and new for me!

Patricia Geller
Patricia Geller4 years ago

Noted, thanks!

Betty C.
Betty Cherry4 years ago

I am sensitive to the yellow dyes. Just like children, I have trouble with concentration, hyperactivity, headaches, hallucinations and anger issues. I have to be careful when buying food from a store, or ordering my food from restaraunts. Many medicines have dye in them and it is very hard when I have to take the medicines because there is no other one available. I can take #5 if needed but #6 and #10 are the colors I have to stay away from. I hope one day, they will take the food colorings out of every thing that we ingest. Are they afraid to have natural colorings in their products?

Carol Cowbrough
Carol Cowbrough5 years ago

Noted. Thanks.

Gale T.
Gale T.5 years ago

It just goes to show if you got the money you run the show.