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FDA Reopens Food Dyes Debate

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Since Dr. Benjamin Feingold, a pediatric allergist from California, had success in the 1970s treating the symptoms of hyperactivity in some children by prescribing a diet that, among other things, eliminated artificial colorings, plenty of conclusive research has been published on the topic. Although behavioral pediatrician, author and talking head Lawrence Diller claims that evidence linking diet to childhood behavioral disorders belongs to “those urban legends that won’t die,” many experiments and studies attest to the contrary, including this one published in the medical journal The Lancet in 2007 as well as the famous Appleton Central High School case study.

The food industry uses synthetic dyes to hide the absence of real food in a product, to make children’s food products of low nutritional value more appealing, or to achieve a combination of the two, according to Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI. FDA data shows that the daily amount of food dyes allowed for consumption per day per capita in the U.S. has increased five-fold between 1955 and 2007, up to 59 milligrams per day per capita.

In this context, it is worth noting that American children are more exposed to synthetic dyes than in any other country. According to the CSPI, many processed food products marketed to children in the U.S. contain artificial colorings while the same products sold on the British market, for instance, do not contain the artificial ingredients.

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.


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7:58AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

Food dyes are no good.

8:31AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

hope they stop the use of food dyes!

5:19PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Ugh... Scary.

1:20AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

It's sad, I don't trust hardly any of the food on market now days. I wish my mom would by everything 100% organic.

8:55AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

thanks for the info

4:53PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011


4:05PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Very interesting!!

4:54AM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

very interesting. thanks.

10:05AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

North Carolina is voting on a bill TONIGHT that would criminalize homeopaths, naturopaths, midwives, herbalists and anyone else who practices "non-conventional medicine." They would all be arrested as felons, rounded up, prosecuted and sent to prison for "practicine medicine" without a conventional medical license.

Read our full report by Ethan Huff at:

You can see the proposed language of the bill yourself at:

Your help is urgently needed:

* Forward this email to anyone who needs to know about this.

* CALL the NC Governor's office at (202) 624-5833 and loudly and forcefully insist that this bill is pure medical madness.

* Call the North Carolina House at (919) 733-7928 with the same message.

7:04AM PDT on Apr 5, 2011

21 years ago I got so sick I was not able to digest food any more. My doctor told me to avoid all food additives, especially food colouring. Within a few days I started to digest food again. For me that was all the proof I needed to believe food additives/colours are bad for us.

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