Can Dye Affect Children?

A pediatrician, Dr. Benjamin Feingold, claimed the artificial colorings were linked to hyperactive behavior back in the 1970s. Since that time Attention Deficit Syndrome has been linked to up to 5 percent of all American children, according to government statistics. Can we blame this all on food coloring?

To make food appear more visually palatable, dyes like Blue No. 1, Yellow No. 5, Green No. 3 and others have been added to everything from Lucky Charms to colas and ground beef and suddenly the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether or not this may have a link to hyperactivity and attention deficit syndrome in children.

European companies have dropped using these dyes and have been substituting natural dyes for them for some time now according to media reports. On the contrary, the United States is still allowing the artificially colored foods and now the FDA is publicly considering the affects for the first time in years.

Remember when Red No. 3 was banned in medicine, cosmetics and other products in the 1990s because research showed that it caused cancer in mice? Well, Red No. 3 is still allowed in your food. If the FDA thinks you shouldn’t be putting it on your face, why is it safe to put in your stomach?

The Grocery Manufacturers Association issued a statement saying that all dyes are safe for consumption, “…there is no demonstrable link between artificial colors and hyperactivity among children.” Still, a federal advisory committee will be convening over the next several days to discuss whether or not certain products containing the food colorings will need additional product warnings on the labels.

The federal advisory committee is made up of food scientists, toxicologists, epidemiologists and environmental health specialists. If they do decide to add a warning to the products that contain food coloring, you have to wonder – will anyone really heed the warnings?

Think about all those food coloring warnings just in time to dye those Easter Eggs.