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June 30th, 2010
02:03 PM ET
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The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says food dyes pose a number of risks to the American public and is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban three of the most commonly used dyes: Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.  A new CSPI report says those dyes contain known carcinogens and contaminants that unnecessarily increase the risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children and allergic reactions.

"These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody," said CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson, co-author of the report. "The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals."

The FDA has not read the report yet an agency spokesperson said. "We appreciate the report from CSPI and look forward to reviewing it. We take our commitment to protecting children seriously".

According to the report, tests done on lab animals found contaminants that raised health concerns about several of the nine dyes currently approved for market. The approved dyes are Blue 1 & 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 & 40 and Yellow 5 & 6. And every year, about 15 million pounds of these dyes wind up in our food, with alot of it ending up in things like candy, fruit drinks and cereals.

The report is based on the FDA's own studies, and studies done by Industry and turned over to the FDA. But a statement from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), who represents the industry says science shows food dyes are safe. "The safety of both artificial and natural colors has been affirmed through extensive review by the main global food safety bodies, including the US Food & Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority.  Both the FDA and the food and beverage industry continually monitor any new research or data in this area to determine if a change in current policy is warranted. It is important for consumers and policymakers to know that food dyes are widely studied and that the overwhelming majority of scientific evidence confirms the safety of artificial food colors."

The Food Standards Agency, an independent government agency in Great Britain, released research a few years ago that suggested a linked between hyperactivity in some children and certain food coloring.  Starting July 20th in the European Union, food containing some of these dyes will carry additional warning labels indicating possible adverse effects on "activity and attention in children."

CSPI went to Britain in 2008 to check out the differences in dye use first hand. It says it found more concern about food dyes and more government oversight. For example, CSPI says McDonald's Strawberry Sundaes get their color from fresh strawberries. The group says in the United States the color comes from Red dye 40. CSPI say in the UK, Fanta orange soda coloring comes from pumpkins and carrot extract. Here, it says the color comes from Red 40 and Yellow 6 dye.

Rand Carpenter, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola, who makes Fanta, says they stand by their products in the United States – and abroad. "Where colors are used in our products they have been reviewed for safety by numerous health authorities and agencies, are permitted in every country where we operate, and are considered safe."

soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Don

    No more Glazier hot dogs?

    June 30, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Duane

      Here we go again. So CSPI is all concerned with food coloring. Why do people take a bunch of psuedo-scientists seriously. Just when we finally get our RED M & Ms back on the market they want to get them banned again? And don't get me started on MSG. Sure anything will give you cancer if you injest 10000 times a normal dose. Has anybody ever considered rats and mice just might be more prone to getting cancer? HUH? Oh and lets not forget, Hey CSPI, can you tell me how much more expensive that Fanta soda is having to be colored with pumpkin extract? hmm. Strange you would use soda as an example for your press release. According to you all soda should be pulled from the market for its sugar content. And finally, when are people going to stop listening to anyone who can send out a press release claiming they are"concerned." Calling themselves Center for Science in the Public Interest? That title is an oxymoron if there ever was one.

      July 1, 2010 at 02:41 | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Duane, think about what you're saying. You're saying that even though red M&M's taste exactly the same as any other color, you'd rather risk cancer or other disease than bear to live without M&M's appearing in red colors. Even if you doubt the science, can't you at least realize how skewed that gamble is?

      July 1, 2010 at 05:54 | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Folks like Duane are statistically challenged – they'll gladly eat foods that have a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing cancer because it can't happen to them, but they'll gladly play the lottery where they have a 1 on 10,000,000 chance of winning because 'ya never know'

      July 1, 2010 at 06:09 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Kevin, it's not a 1 in 10,000 you'll get cancer eating a regular quantity of red M&Ms, it's more like one in a trillion. It's basically impossible. Although I will agree with you that playing the lottery is stupid.

      July 1, 2010 at 07:34 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      I only go by my own experience. My sons school recommended that we go see a specialist who would basically drug my son into a stupor for his lack of attention (ADHD). Rather than going along with that ABSURD recommendation, I was advised by a nutritionist (non-licensed) to increase his protein & fat intake and cut out as much food coloring (Red 40 in particular). In two weeks, his teacher called and said that she wanted to know what we did to improve his behavior she said the change was amazing.

      To me a soda every now and then will not hurt, food coloring by itself probably will not hurt you, what the 1 in 10,000 does not take into account is the combination of other common toxins in food (coloring, preservatives, pesticides, herbacides, flavoring agents, along with pharmaceuticals, and other garbage like hydrogenation...


      Food additives are approved based on an acceptable level of adverse effects... meaning that 1 in 10,000 means that out of a nation of 300,000,000 30,000 will suffer adverse effects... which the FDA deems an acceptable level of risk. Not the same as a lottery ticket

      July 1, 2010 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Oh crap! Sugar is linked to diabetes! Ban is now! Lets not forget that dyhydrogen monoxide, it's ALWAYS found wherever cancer is. Ban that too!

      July 1, 2010 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      If you only ate red m&m's occasionally, of course you're not ever going to get cancer. But when you factor in EVERYTHING a person generally consumes, the increase goes significantly up. Im not even talking about dye's, but all other chemicals and preservatives, high fructose corn syrup (used to be processed with mercury, amazing huh? some products on the shelf still contain mercury). You cant even buy regular meat at the grocery store that isnt loaded with antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides – unless of course you pay significantly more for "natural/pesticide" free products, but even those contain harmful "natural" pesticides.
      Duane – the comment about "maybe mice just get cancer more". Well guess what buddy, id say 1 in 3 americans getting cancer in their lifetime are pretty high odds, dont you?

      July 1, 2010 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      Richard, our daughter's school has an all natural food policy for those very reasons. They see few cases af ADHD because they don't allow sugar, preservatives or food dyes in food made or brought into the school. The parents have really stood behind this, and for most part follow this practice at home.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      Oh, and Duane...It's not just the sugar in soda that's bad for you. Even diet is bad with the combination of chemicals and acids (mainly the acids that eat at the enamel on teeth and intestinal tract).

      July 1, 2010 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • Stacy

      Yes! I'm so excited they are finally acknowledging problems with Red 40. My daughter started going bananas every time we gave her fruit snacks or anything containing dye. Her eyes would glaze over and she would start having horrible tantrums. You can tell the difference between a normal tantrum and one caused by an allergic reaction. I don't know why they don't use beet juice concentrate like they do in yogurt.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • Cathy

      I, too, was a non-believer in all the diet hoopla. If you had told me changing my child's diet would change behavior I would have laughed (I've taught middle school for 20 years – so I know kids!!!) Then my 3rd child was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at age 3. Basically this is a form of mild autism. His behavior was not conducive to sitting and learning and I decided to try everything I could to see what worked. I resisted changing his diet because I thought it would be a waste of time. WRONG!!! A year went by before I tried taking out all additives, dyes, preservatives, and synthetic chemicals. All I can say is I wish I would have tried it first because I wasted a whole year. Within two weeks he was a different kid! He could sit in class and follow directions and no longer wandered around or was hyper. He was calm and coherent. It changed his life!!! To those who say you can't tell you have no clue what you're talking about. I was not EXPECTING it to work or do anything for him – but even I noticed the behavior change immediately! Since then I have read more and found that a pediatrician, Dr. Feingold, noticed changes across the board in the 60's with his patients when all the additives started going gangbusters in food. He saw a huge increase in children presenting with ADHD even at that time and was able to connect it to the chemicals started to be added to food. If it is man-made and not natural – who needs it?

      July 1, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse |


      July 1, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • Nursehope

      Its OK for you as an adult but try dealing with school age children hopped up on red#40. I see it everyday, mostly from Gatorade Red. Remember 40 years ago "they" said tobacco weas safe too. New ino/data=new conclusions.

      July 1, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Hi, I just want to say that I am actually allergic to FD&C Red #40, I have had multiple tests done on me to test this theory, even having pure red 40 skin pricked onto me. IT IS A REAL ALLERGY! I have to carry an Epi-Pen (epinephrine shot for allergic reaction for those who do not know) with me everywhere I go, and I have 2 around my house. It is that bad of an allergy. I get hives/red and itchy skin within 5 minutes of eating it, stomach and intestinal problems within 15 minutes and when I was at school and was not allowed to take the benedryl for an allergic reaction I had from drinking ICED TEA!!! BROWN ICED TEA! I had to take a bus home 45 minutes into my reaction, and by the time I got home and took my benedryl it had been over an hour, by this time I was having breathing problems. It's very scary knowing that only a few sips of a supposedly "all-natural" iced tea that had red 40 caused me to have to endure all of this. It really is something that should be banned because it is not needed and natural food dyes are just as easily available. Also to Peter (July 1st, 2010) water, if you're going to be all organic chemistry on us is just hydrogen monoxide because of the naming rules. Also, dY-anything does not exist as it is not a prefix, it is di-whatever.

      July 2, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  2. wren7

    Personally, I try to avoid all food dyes and synthetic additives of all kinds. Why pollute our bodies with chemicals? Infants are born with something like 250 different chemicals in their bodies - we're polluting our bodies with chemicals, many of which have not been tested for safety. I firmly believe that many cancers are caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, which are everywhere. If you like candy but don't want the artificial crap or dyes, try Yummy Earth organic candy and lollipops, available at natural food stores. They have zero artificial ingredients/dyes, no high fructose corn syrup, and are fantastic. All the flavors come from natural fruits & veggies (I have no connection with the company, just love their candy, especially the sour fruit flavors).

    June 30, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wren7

      P.S. And they're USDA organic.

      June 30, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • diane

      Wren, I agree completely. There are so many healthier options today that weren't around when I was a kid. I'm very picky when it comes to my childrens' food. I do allow them to eat junk but monitor it. Also, I try and cook as much as possible.

      June 30, 2010 at 23:15 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @wren7 You've got to be kidding me. First off, USDA Organic is in my opinion worthless... it's not even 100% organic unless it says "USDA 100% Organic". Secondly, the USDA which caters to industry has listed all kinds of crap that is acceptable in their version of "organic"... such as casings from processed animal intestines, food colorings, etc. This stuff isn't organic, it's simply allowed under "USDA Organic" rules. Finally, YummyEarth is made in Mexico. I've read report after report that says you should NEVER purchase candy made in Mexico or China due to lead in a percentage of candy from those countries. Wake up, friend.

      June 30, 2010 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ali

      I like for those Yummy Earth suckers and gummies, I will not give my son dyes either it makes him so crazy hyper

      July 1, 2010 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      As a new mom – I completely agree with these statements. What a war with food it is in protecting our children in this generation. I sincerely hope many more people stand up so that it changes soon – gmo's that might affect 3rd generation fertility and offspring birth weight, hydrogenated oils affecting livers , high fructose corn syrup causing diabetes, excessive pesticides (over 50 trace pesticides in strawberries alone) suspected in causing adhd, food coloring and chemicals suspected in causing cancer and adhd, even milk and cheese is laden with hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides from the food they're fed, and apple juice and single peach and pear cups are approved to be coming from the most polluted place on earth – China. I mean, really?

      July 1, 2010 at 01:31 | Report abuse |
    • H

      I am astounded that so many moms out there really, truly BELIEVE that they can CONCLUDE that a dye is causing their child to be hyperactive. That's not science, that's anecdotal crap. Also, the actual studies that published these findings found a possible LINK, as in CORRELATION. If any of you knew a drop of science, you'd know that correlation does not imply causation, just as in the case of autism being linked to vaccines. Guess what? By the time autism was recognized as a disorder and kids began being diagnosed, the number of people diagnosed as mentally retarded decreased dramatically. And the reason why it was linked to vaccines is because autism begins to exhibit symptoms at around the same time that kids are due for vaccines and booster shots. It's about the age that the disorder begins to exhibit symptoms, not a false CAUSALITY of vaccines catalyzing the disorder.

      Same thing with cancer. If I only I had a nickel for every time someone said, "OMG, cancer is so rampant now!! It's more common than ever!!!" Ever thought about WHY?! BETTER DIAGNOSTICS AND PEOPLE ARE LIVING LONGER, WHICH MEANS THAT THERE IS A GREATER CHANCE TO HAVE MUTATIONS IN ONCOGENES AND TUMOR SUPPRESSOR GENES THAT LEADS TO CANCER. "BUT BUT BUT...BUT CHEMICALS!" Shove it.

      The media will slant scientific findings any way they choose; all of these articles you read are suggestions that immediately lead so many ignorant laypeople to jump to the conclusion that X causes Y. No, sorry, that's not what the scientists said, go read the scientific article! A handful of studies that show a possible link is only reason to conduct further longitudinal studies and trials, not to have some panicked knee jerk reaction and order all of these dyes removed from products.

      By the way, all of you Whole Foods folks are going to hate this, but organic food is 100% BS and you're wasting your money. Go learn science and quit acting so foolishly.

      July 1, 2010 at 02:26 | Report abuse |
    • H is an idiot

      The name says it all...

      July 1, 2010 at 05:15 | Report abuse |
    • I Love H

      H, you rock. Right on man.

      July 1, 2010 at 05:27 | Report abuse |
    • Mary Ann

      nicely said. of course, most illness' out there are/were created by mankind. I don't think our creator created the body to attact itself, he created illness' that will strengthen the immune system not destroy. and it is a DARN shame that our government does not protect its people, buy not approving dangerous chemicals to be put in or sprayed on what we ingest/digest. It is about time that they worry about stinking colors, and now maybe they can move down the least and look at the other 1000 chemicals. What a gimmick...their worries are about money, economy...and hate to say but sickness does generate a good income within an economy. and this is a little bone they throw in front of us, to show us they are doing something for us...

      July 1, 2010 at 08:02 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Oh, and they are crazy expensive for candy. Better to avoid candy if you are on a tight budget.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • Richard


      What is wrong with "anecdotal" evidence in a case like this? I understand in a case such as the vaccine/Autism, where a parent may be putting their child at a severe risk based on anecdotal evidence. But food dye is basically a marketing tool, it serves no purpose in the safety or quality of food.

      Also, for hundreds of years, anecdotal evidence was the only proof that smoking was harmful. More recently many relied on anecdotal evidence that all fat was not bad for you after all. Personally as a parent, my wife and I made a decision to only use anti-biotics on our infant son in the event of a real health emergency (based on the recommendation of an 85 year-old 'country' doctor and a simple observation of nurseries full of sick children being feed a daily dose of anti-biotics with no improvement)... that was in 1995. There was no scientific evidence at the time, but now there is... Obviously I can go on and on.

      The suggestion that anyone should make health decisions based only on medical science is just about absurd as those who spurn it.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      H – and its equally ignorant to believe that nothing we do, consume or breathe in has ANY relation to these diseases at all. I agree, corralation does not equal causation – but absence of proof does not mean there is no problem here. We simply have yet to be able to unlock the full truth to all of these issues.
      Next you're going to tell me that Agent Orange and all the chemicals in the bombs we use are perfectly harmless too? That those people on the islands that we've used at bombing ranges are just magically getting massive amounts of cancer and extremly early ages is just...a fluke? All those vets exposed to agent orange in nam – yeah, their just making it up, right?

      There's something in the middle between your insane "everything is fine, stop being stupid" mentallity and other peoples "the sky is falling, everything is going to kill us" mentality. The quicker we all move our azzes to the middle, the faster we'll find real solutions.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • wren7

      Joe, I wasn't aware that Yummy Earth candy was made in Mexico. I went to their website and just read this:

      "We tightly control our manufacturing processes both at our Mexico facility and at our Germany facility. We are proud to say that both our facilities are inspected frequently by US and German inspectors and enjoy exemplary quality and safety records. We proudly pay fair wages to our valued team members and have found that implementing excellent safety and ingredient control standards can yield extraordinarily safe and high quality products in both facilities. Further, we send finished product to be tested at the University of Nebraska for nutrients and contaminants, because, as dads, that's what we wish all food manufacturers would do."

      I'm personally comfortable continuing to occasionally eat Yummy Earth candy because it is being tested at an American university for contaminants, something that the vast majority of other candy and food manufacturers don't go to the trouble of doing. I wish it was made in the USA though.

      July 1, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
  3. Fiona

    Yikes! Hot Tamales candy has all three of those dyes in it!

    June 30, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wren7

      Pretty much any non-organic candy will.

      June 30, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • hg

      Darn. Those are my favorite.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
  4. Jan C.

    And what about hair dyes for women? I was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and have gotten my drk. brown hair colored for years. Most studios don't talk about these dangers; not good for business, but I've seen articles citing a link to hair dye and lymphoma although many doctors may disagree. Cigarettes were thought to be safe back in the 50's too. Sometimes it takes years to draw a connection.

    June 30, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • blush

      have you tried using Henna to dye your hair? It's a natural ingredient native of India that can be used to dye your hair. I have been using that. But you have to be careful of getting the imitation brands!

      June 30, 2010 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      Aveda hair color is the safest way to go, if you're worried about it.

      June 30, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
    • PPD Will Hurt You

      The active chemical in commercial hair dyes that causes most of the problems is Paraphenalynediame, or PPD. PPD is very toxic and can cause burns, scarring and even long term health problems. Fresh natural henna is safe, but *NEVER* use anything called 'black henna' as it usually contains PPD. There are other natural ingredients labeled as 'black henna' but better safe than sorry.

      June 30, 2010 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • hair dye?

      If people are that concerned, why do they dye their hair at all? Why makeup? Shouldn't you look as organic as what you want to eat?

      June 30, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      You might want to try Henna or Nature Tint. I worked at a health food store, and tha'ts how I learned most of the things I know about what mainstream products are dangerous to humans

      July 1, 2010 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • MaryMary

      Not true about Aveda Hair Color I worked with Aveda as did my Hubby. Pretty bad cancer causing ingredients going in that color! Made my Hubby sick Just applying on women! Stopped working with it and no longer sick! There are watch groups on the net ...Try Over one hundred Aveda Products listed on that site with ingredients that cause CANCER!!!!!!!!!!

      July 1, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  5. carlinsghost

    What company goes through the trouble of manufacturing products with different ingredients for distribution in different places?
    The only thing that would make sense is GREED. Maybe the US versions are as safe as the European versions, and maybe they aren't, but the bottom line is always the money. Obviously the US version is cheaper to make, but isn't it impressive how the Europeans actually get to have some control over products for sale, instead of the lobbyists and marketing people?

    June 30, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MrsFizzy

      Yes, it's great. And they are socialist. Think we will see that happening here???

      June 30, 2010 at 17:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kiff

      Since when are Germany and France "socialist"?

      Both of these countries have center-right, heavily pro-business governments, and they are both at the forefront of the European Union's food-safety efforts.

      The concept and definition of "socialism" has become so twisted by the right wing in this country that the term is even applied to the likes of our president, who is pretty much in the pocket of big banks and corporations, just like nearly every other national-level politician we have, with a very few exceptions – actual socialists like Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-VT.

      I guess actually caring about the well-being of the people you govern (as opposed to professing heartless, soulless, unabashed greed) defines "socialism" to the tea-bagger crowd these days.

      Repeat after me – Ayn Rand wrote FICTION. The views she expressed in her novels in no way constitute a reasoned or rational economic theory or philosophy. ALL modern, industrialized societies are essentially socialist. Would you prefer a return to feudalism and absolute monarchy?

      June 30, 2010 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
    • Alexdan

      Take a peek at the recent CNN article descriibing the chemicals/fats put in McD's chicken nuggets in the US. It describes again how the Europen version is different (and "healthier"). I think the best practice is to write a letter or two to manufacturers using these dyes. They are responsive if enough customers seek explanations and healthier alternatives. Even better we just stop buying anything with these dyes.

      June 30, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Well, Coca-Cola sold in Mexico just across the border supposedly uses real sugar instead of that high fructose corn syrup crap they use here in the USA. My feeling is that if Coca-Cola wants to make a more natural product for other countries but give us this stuff, then why should any American buy their product? Shouldn't we Americans deserve to get the best and most natural and healthiest, not just what's regulatorily acceptable?

      June 30, 2010 at 23:34 | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      MrsFizzy: "The US food industry has got people used to it." – Agreed. The crazy part is that when i light heartedly tell people any of these dangers they say things like, "my parents grew up on it and are fine". What they don't seem to realize is how much the formulations have changed in so many products. Its such an unsettling assault on our health. I'm glad to see by the replies on here that more and more are starting to care.

      July 1, 2010 at 01:48 | Report abuse |
    • BoB

      "Well, Coca-Cola sold in Mexico just across the border supposedly uses real sugar instead of that high fructose corn syrup crap they use here in the USA."


      The reason for this is that the US government slaps significant tariffs on the import of sugar to "protect" the US sugar industry. This makes REAL sugar 50% more expensive in the US than on the world market at large. Due to the increased cost of sugar to food companies, they turned to corn syrup as a sugar substitute. The result of this whole mess is that we have the Corn and Sugar lobbies spending a significant amount of money to ensure the tariffs stay in place to protect their business at the cost of our health.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Thank you for pointing that out, Kiff. I will have to start tagging sarcasm more. But when Obama tries to do something remotely like what is done in those countries, people jump up and down & scream socialist. I was trying to just suggest that what the crowd you mentioned think is "socialist" is not really so bad, and maybe there are some merits in putting people before profit. You made a much better effort though. :)

      July 1, 2010 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  6. neabob

    is the correct address.

    June 30, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Absolutely

    My son has ADHD and if he gets Red 40 in say, red punch, it is like he is on cocaine–EXTREMELY hyper. Many kids react to that one–not just ADHD kids. It's not the sugar; it's the dye. My mother-in-law did not believe me, so the second and LAST time I let her watch my son, she purposely gave him red Jello and red punch. She was calling me within a half hour–. Once he got a red Popsicle at school, and I had been there volunteering before lunch and then returned after lunch. I knew instantly and when I asked him if he had had something red, he, at 5, said, "No–it was CHERRY!" It doesn't kill him but it is NOT GOOD. The Yellow 5/6 (orange) do it to a degree, too. Read some labels–you will not believe what Red 40 is in–and I still am shocked that it is the same dye used to color clothes, etc.

    June 30, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      While I will agree that a lot of parents blame ADHD for bad behavior, I am inclined to agree with Absolutely. I'm a young adult, and I recently went a long time without eating/drinking anything with the red dye in it. After being reintroduced to red drinks (in this case, cool-aid) I was extremely rabbity. I readjusted quickly, but it felt similar to getting a small dose of amphetamines – and it definitely was not the sugar.

      June 30, 2010 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      I think there is way too much ADHD claimed but I also wonder how much is cause & effect. Sometimes that is the convenient excuse but I also know of kids who are otherwise normal and go completely wacko after some Red40. The article dosen't tell you these dyes are made from coal tar derivatives. How good do you think that could be for your kid's brain? I think it's sad when you read about the differences in the food in Europe and what our children are fed here. Like they care more, and put their kids' potential health above food company's profits?? Ah well, socialists...

      June 30, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Absolutely

      I definitely agree that there's bad behavior and bad manners–but if you ever see true ADHD, you will know it. These kids are like that from the start. My son works so hard at maintaining good behavior–and the entire family works at it. Red dye just makes it 10,000 times worse.

      June 30, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      My son 23 years ago when he was 3 years old had a seizure that almost killed him. This was happening all over our county. These children were having seizures and they would stop breathing. By the time the ambulance got him to the hospital his resportations were 4. I had no idea he was having a seizure I thought he had a stroke. When they got him to the ER they told me he was not going to make it. They thought he had meningitis and he was non responsive they were beginning to intubate him when he came out of it. His left side was parilized( I can't spell) This drove me crazy I started doing research and found out it was the red dye 40 in all the food he was eating and he was allergic to it. This red dye is in almost everything we give our children. It builds up in their system and eventually their systems cannot take it anymore. The red punch drinks are like giving them a cup of poision it is the worst thing you could give them. Fruity pebbles, strawberry and cherri pop tarts. I taught him to always read the lable and never eat anything that had it in it. To this day he reads the label of everything he eats or drinks. The way I found out was a Lupus foundation film I just happened to see by chance one day. I wish I would have kept it but I didn't and I wish all parents could see it. My son did not have brain damage from going without oxygen for almost 2 hours because there was and emt across the street from the daycare center I took him too and he happened to have a oxygen tank in his truck. But there were at least 8 other children admitted to the hospital with the same symptoms and were almost or were vegtables because of it. No one notices all of them, I worked in a hospital and started paying attention to it. If you were to look at the how many small children are having seizures and other mental illnesses this could be the culprit.

      June 30, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
    • Agree 100%

      We learned about the effects of die when our daughter was about 2. We would go to a church play group (in London) that always served an orange drink meant for children that was mixed, much like Xarex used to be. She would go absolutely insane and the most horrible temper tantrums. When I realized it was every Wed this would happen, I suspected the snacks and drink and through process of elimination narrowed it down. She's now 14 and still suffers similar effects from colored candies and cereals, etc. She knows it, and tries to avoid it, but it's everywhere in any packaged snacks. Not fun for a teenager. And even worse, her younger sister is relatively unaffected by the stuff.

      July 1, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      Hey genious, if your so sure its the dye, howcome you apparently still allow him to drink the stuff? I would think as a concerned mother you wouldn't.

      July 1, 2010 at 02:48 | Report abuse |
  8. clscurnutt

    Better dying (not dyeing) through chemistry!!!

    June 30, 2010 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. davec

    Death by a thousands cuts says me.

    June 30, 2010 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. waternut

    Why dye anyway..just cut them all out...since they add no flavor or nutritional content..seems silly to keep adding something thats unneeded. If you know what your eating..does really matter what color it is???

    June 30, 2010 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      Color actually increases the look of "tastiness" in foods.

      A salad with several rich colors, like dark green, red, and yellow, looks more delicious than it would if you used ingredients that were dull-colored and similar.

      I agree, though, that we should be looking at alternatives for dying food. This is just nuts.

      June 30, 2010 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Yup, it's all in what you're used to, Sarah. And you are talking about natural colors present in vegetables. Our processed food doesn't have to be so violently artificial-looking (or for that matter, so processed). There are plenty of natural alternatives which may not be quite so neon-bright, but so what? Those colors are made from coal-tar derivatives, is that what we should be feeding our children? The US food industry has got people used to it. If everything changed so that candy and drinks got just a little less rainbow-colored, we'd still eat it and you wouldn't even miss it.

      June 30, 2010 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • bdef

      Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that the food NEEDS dye to look good? So it's okay to cover up the color of old meat, or show that the food at the supermarket is old garbage. I've been raised in a small town in Europe where all of the food is sold fresh from the fields and whatever meat or fish you wanted was either still alive or just killed. No dyes!

      July 1, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • Megidoloan

      Waternut, I've always wondered the same thing myself. Why do we need all these dyes in our food? It tastes exactly the same without it. I think that we as a society are so far removed from what actual food is that we need it to look a certain way in order to eat it. It's sad.

      July 1, 2010 at 07:44 | Report abuse |
  11. IraH

    I get extremely light headed from any of these three dyes. I read labels but sometimes have a dye reaction when there was none listed on the label. (like on canned cranberries, fresh cranberries are ok). It took many doctor visits to identify the cause. Colored red and yellow pills and well as green tooth paste also are sources of these dyes.

    June 30, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Emily

    I am allergic to Red 40 and my cousin is allergic to Yellow 5 so this would be great!

    June 30, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. lyndee

    yes!!! ive been saying it for ever! my son gets extremly wirey and very in-tolerable!!! when he gets even the least little bit of color. i will not let him eat skittles at all!!!! he sometimes goes to his friends houses and gets kool-aid or something and i can definetly tell right away when he gets home. he also gets very mouthy and he gets like this attitude that i just "love" ya know. he is ten yrs. old and thinks he can tell me what to do and how to do it!! but other wise he is the most loving kid you could ever ask for. its just when he gets color.

    June 30, 2010 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Phil

    "about 15 million pounds of these dyes wind up in our food"

    So what...15 million pounds might go into 200 billion pounds of food.

    June 30, 2010 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      And your point is?

      June 30, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
  15. thenontoxicmom

    My kids constantly come home from school and tell me about all the special treats they got- ices, Gushers, licorice....and all I think is dyes, dyes, dyes. How sad that so many people are uninformed...

    June 30, 2010 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Samantha

      I love that my daughter's school has an all-natural policy. They don't make or allow any food in the school that contains artificial flavors, colors or added sugar. They've really noticed the difference and many of the parents try to follow those rules at home.

      July 1, 2010 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  16. essie

    The local grocery stores carry candy and other packaged foods from the United Kingdom, we have a lot of folks from there who've settled in our area, and the stores carry their favorite brands from across the pond. The ingredients list natural food colors, just like this article claims. The candies are pretty good, actually, and we are happy to have access to these treats. I wonder why Nestle makes all natural treats for British kids, but American kids have to buy artificial junk from the same manufacturer.

    June 30, 2010 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Megidoloan

      Essie, I wonder if it's because we in America are so used to our food being extremely sweet (high-fructose corn syrup and the like – ingredients that often aren't used in Europe) that anything natural tastes bland by comparison and we won't buy it. I know that when I converted to a mostly-organic diet, it took me a while to get accustomed to the taste of natural food. I was used to all the artificial and enhanced flavors that's in "mass-produced" (for lack of a better term) food products. It's not easy to change your taste preferences.

      July 1, 2010 at 07:50 | Report abuse |
  17. Nina

    I try to find food without dyes in it for my children. I find this to be very difficult task to do. I am for the ban of all dyes. It is not necessary to have food dyes. Just my opinion, but I would love for this to come into effect ASAP.

    June 30, 2010 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. spec ed teacher

    I work at a school entirely made up of children with ADHD, autism and learning disorders. I can tell you without a doubt that dyes cause unruly behavior. One student in particular of mine was so sensitive to it, eating the tiniest amount (like a few sprinkles from a cupcake) would send her into an emotional break down. Almost all our students are on special diets. They are different individuals when they eat properly! Yes, their diagnostic symptoms are still present, but MUCH MUCH more manageable. Think about the quantity of "kid food" has dye in it. Children who eat "kid food" get such a high dose of dyes.

    June 30, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mdyer

    Blue dye #1 will make you turn into a Wookie.

    June 30, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jon

    Correction: "alot" isn't a word; the proper use is 'a lot'

    June 30, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Concerned nurse

    Be care about NATURAL. CARMINE or COCHINEAL is a red food color that is made from the beetle that is crushed up. It has caused many anaphylactic reactions and deaths. I know; I am highly allergic to it. I am a nurse and many people react to it but labels state only natural coloring added It is found in prescription drugs and some OTC vitamins and supplements.. This carmine coloring is not kosher nor is it vegan. If you like your food colored with insect parts then go natural. Many people are trying to ban carmine and it should be. This South American beetle should be not be in food.

    June 30, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      I'll take bugs over coal which is what Red #40 is made from! People all over the world eat bugs, big deal!

      July 1, 2010 at 11:09 | Report abuse |
    • Concerned nurse

      I respect your opinion. Your Jewish and vegetarian Americans disagree. So do the many who end up in my ER with a life threateining reaction. Not lightheaded; not dizzy. They are dying from anaphylactic shock due to carmine coloring. True Red dye 40 allergy etc are rarer then that. Not saying you cannot be sensitive to it; this is a TRUE IgE mediated reaction caused by the carmine beetle. We do get to ingest insect parts in mny foods by incidental contamination. This beetle is deadly to many and not safe for consumption for many patients.

      July 1, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • drinker75

      Like anything it should be labeled to warn people. I just don't think that it being made from bugs makes it worse than chemicals.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
  22. Marina

    Use BEETS for your red, CARROTS for your oranges, TURMERIC for your yellows, and CHLOROPHYL for your greens. Problem solved :)

    Not sure about BLUEs, perhaps blueberries.....?

    June 30, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Blueberries would probably yield purple. My brother always says "never eat blue food." Can you think of any natural food that is actually the color of blue candy or blue ice cream. It's fake blue, not natural. Anyone ever seen a real "blue raspberry"?

      June 30, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • Marina

      Blue foods from nature are GOOD for you. The Deeper the color, the higher the phytochemical/AOX level. Blueberries, and blackberries are good for you!! As well as dark leafy lettuce. What it indicates, is that these plants have evolved to protect themselves from harmful UVA/UVB rays from the sun. The higher deeper the color the more benefits they can give to your skin to protect you. Hope this helps.

      June 30, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Absolutely. The key point being "from nature." There's nothing natural about blue raspberry. None of the natural blue foods are truly blue. They're purple. Blueberries are more bluish, but still purple. Blackberries are definitely not blue.

      June 30, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
  23. smartypants

    not only do these affect behaviour, they are also a huge contributor to autoimmune disease flare up, such as migraines. Another one is nitrates that are in almost all deli food with the exception of extra lean turkey and chicken. Monitor kids eating lunch meat and there is a correlation to lack of impulse control and increased migraines.

    June 30, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      red dye is an immediate trigger for my migraines. i can actually taste it in things – it has a knd of metallic tinge to it to me. so even if it is not listed on the ingredient list, i can usually tell before i have ingested enough to trigger a month-long bout of cluster migraines. nutrasweet does the same thing to me, and being diabetic, that really limits my choices. why are companies still using an artificial sweetener that has to carry a health warning when there is an alternative like splenda?

      July 1, 2010 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
  24. anne

    My child gets more hyper after most of these, particularly yellow artificial dyes, and has less impulse control over his entire attitude; if a caretaker gives him these colorants, he ends up with more needing more discipline and we're all miserable. The frustrating thing is that they're in most children's medications, too. I ask the pharmacist for dye-free pediatric meds and in most cases, they're not available.

    June 30, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      try to find a compounding pharmacy. they can make up almost any medication from scratch without any additives or can add any flavoring to make it more acceptable for your child (or you.)

      July 1, 2010 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
  25. Lynn

    Maybe just ban everything. Let's start with my job. This would reduce the most amount of stress.

    June 30, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Soccer Mom

    I totally support banning Red #40. We witnessed our daughter's allergic reactions to it when she was younger, and the same for my niece. We wonder how many other children had similar reactions?

    June 30, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Maybe we should ban peanuts too since they can cause severe allergic reactions.

      June 30, 2010 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
  27. NorthGal

    Interesting how all the ADHD parents commenting on here seem to have boys who are unruly/hyper after eating food dyes...just noticing there aren't any parents of girls commenting. I've also noticed it's almost always boys who are diagnosed with ADHD. Could the dye sensitivity be a sex *as in biological gender* linked issue? Or perhaps girls are forced to "behave" at the first sign of hyperactivity, and rambunctious behavior is quickly put down in girls, while "boys will be boys". Then the girls are free to develop a more passive-aggressive way of interacting *i.e., manipulation instead of force*.

    June 30, 2010 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CJ

      I have a 4 year old daughter, and while I've never noticed a direct correlation to food dyes, I *have* noticed that she seems to get hyper sometimes for what seems to be no reason. Now I'm going to start checking the ingredients on what she's eaten when it seems to flare up to see if I can find any correlation to some of the dyes that people have mentioned. I wouldn't be surprised to find one.

      July 1, 2010 at 02:39 | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      My daughter has been diagnosed with mild-to-moderate autism. She without a doubt has an adverse reaction to Red 40. We have a large amount of anecdotal evidence to support this, but did a more reliable test when she recently had a cold. We purchased two generic children's Acetaminophen suspensions – identical products, but one with red 40, and one without. The difference in her behavior when she was given the medicine with Red 40 was truly frightening – tantrums, running around the house, yelling, inability to sleep. Red 40 is not allowed in our house, and we do what we can to limit her exposure to it away from home. We can always tell when school has had a 'snack' during the day that contained Red 40, purely from her behavior later in the day.

      July 1, 2010 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
    • momofagirl

      I have a 3 yo girl and I can tell you there is a direct link between food additives and her behavior. Until she was 16 months old she had not had any kind of "kid" foods aside from the occasional kids meal at a fast food restaurant or even any sugar really with the exception of her fist birthday cake. Then we moved, an international move at that, we lived in hotels and with family for over two months, during this time I made some compromises on our diet out of convince and bought her some gummy fruit treats for snacks, MISTAKE, I had a hyper toddler in a hotel room, we had uncontrollable tantrum and night terrors for the first time (and yes I figure some of it was all the change but we had also traveled a lot in her first year so she was used to traveling), when we got into a house again our diet went back to normal and I had very few issues aside from her just being full of energy which had been the case since she was born, then as she got older she started getting more treats when we went out, I started to notice that her behavior was out of control when she got these treats, and my husband was brining home things like gummy bears and kool-aid, it took me 6 months to finally get him to see how it affects her as often he was gone when I was dealing with the aftermath of consuming those foods, we now have reduced the amount of treats we buy on the US base we are stationed at, we live in the UK and the majority of treats in our house are purchased off of the base, and while she may get a bit hyper from the sugar it's nothing like the total loss of control when she was eating the more American treats. So yes girls are affected too. And a little family back ground, my Mother was diagnosed with ADHD in the 60's when girls did not have ADHD, and my brother is also ADHD and I'm sure if my Mom had known what additives did to behavior we would not have lived on kool-aid and she would have had a much easier time raising my brother.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • cameragirl

      Another mom to a girl with Red 40 issues here.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse |
  28. Rob

    Even CNN no longer understands that "alot" is really two words: "a lot."

    June 30, 2010 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Red P. ill

    my mom always told me that Red 40 made me hyperactive. In college I told my Psychiatrist that and he got real defensive. He said that there were no proven links between dyes and hyperactivity. What an idiot, my mom's smarter than you jackass shrinks. Now that there's a possible link to hyperactivity your not gonna make as much money for the Pharmaceutical jerks paying you to prescribe adderrall... I should've never taken that stuff considering all the profit-sharing the big companies do in order to get their smack distributed. Any links to actual root causes mean that the problems go away and less revenue for the pseudo-monopolistic idiots who profit off keeping us "tolerably" sick while draining our pocket books. It will take a few more years to measure the impact of the USA's wonderous "pharmaceutical-monopoly incentives program". Perhaps it will take decades considering big companies have learned from their fallen comrade "Big Tobacco" on how to deceive the public (and themselves). But considering the Law of Entropy, it's to be expected that any [human] reaction will be worse the the gangrene.

    June 30, 2010 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Joseph

    Though I have no Allergy, the Adverse Metabolic Reactions are similar to Type 1 and Type 2 Hypersensitivity Reactions, and like Allergenic Reactions, from the time of exposure to the time the Cycle of Reactions stops can be Hours to Months, and varies in severity depending on how much and how long I was exposed to the Pathogen.

    In the above Video about the People suing the Doctors, the Allergen is a Pathogen that caused nearly a Month of Suffering, as a Cycle of Reactions it caused resulted in Death. The Doctors did not give this man the Bee Sting, but in my Case, it is Doctors and Medical Staff that give me the Pathogens in Inert Ingredients of Medications and or Medications that are Pathogenic to my System, and or gave me Pathogens in Foods, that resulted in Hours to Months of Suffering afterwards, and could result in more damage to my Brain, and or the loss of my Kidneys and or my Liver, and or my Life. Who is responsible for that? The Food and Drug Manufactures, or the Government, or the Doctors and or Medical Staff, or all of them?

    Some of the things in Nature that are Pathogenic to my System happen to be Compounds that are used to make these Food and Drug Colorings, the FD & C above, and all the other FD & C Compounds are also made from things in Nature that are Pathogenic to my System.

    The Processed Food and Drug Additives that are Pathogenic to me are processed from things in Nature, but cause me to have more Severe Reactions than those Compounds found in Nature. For example, Dent Field Corn does not cause Red Rashes on my Face and or Chest immediately, and does not cause me to have an immediate Hyperglycemic Event followed by a later Hypoglycemic Crash, but Processed Cornstarch used in the Cornstarch and Talc Capsules does. Processed Corn Syrup does not immediately cause Red Rashes on my Face and or Chest, but causes me to have an immediate Hyperglycemic Event followed by a later Hypoglycemic Crash. The same thing happens when some Beta-Glucans and or Cellulose and or Sugars and or Alcohols are processed and used as Food Additives or used as Inert Ingredients in Drugs or Food Supplements, I have more severe Adverse Reactions to the Processed Stuff than what I have to those things found in Nature. Who is responsible for having made those things more Pathogenic to my System and adding them to so many Foods and Drugs and or Food Supplements? The Food and Drug Manufactures, or the Government, or the Doctors and or Medical Staff, or all of them?

    July 1, 2010 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph

      What I call Pathogenic above is the results of Processed Food and Drug Additives that damage my Immune System and allow Pathogenic things to infect my System, like the Rashes on my Face, and in my Throat and Sinus and Digestive Track. It never fails to cause one type of Infection or another that comes after the adverse reactions.

      July 1, 2010 at 00:12 | Report abuse |
  31. Liz Brannan

    I agree. Dyes are simply not good for you. Period!
    My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD/anxiety disorder at the age of five. I didn't take it lightly, visited several different doctors, an EEG was performed and finally the doctors and I decided on medicine. Not just medicine though ... we also went to a therapist. I did tons of research and also changed my children's diets. No artificial dyes, preservatives or flavors. I read labels and was very strict about our food.
    As years passed, and my son got to middle school, we decided with his and his teachers' input to wean him off meds. He is now a junior in high school and doing great. We no longer need to see a therapist and he knows how to police himself. He stays away from the foods, which he knows will have a negative affect on his mood and things are good.
    I agree, get rid of these artificial additives. I am a conservative and an independent, however, I also realize that these are just added to our foods for marketing value and shelf life, which in turn puts more money in corporate pockets.
    I believe in the free market, but not at the detriment of our Nation's people.

    July 1, 2010 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Robert Fish

    Really........ really....... how many years has "Mountain Dew" been on the shelf? Yet all those dyes have been in it since day one. I want to raise the BS flag on this report. Kinda like when RED 5 was supposed to cause cancer.... yet 20 years later it was proven BS and put back into food.

    July 1, 2010 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ana

      Lol – it was never proven BS – and it was never removed from the shelves. Parabens in shampoo and other toiletries are found in in breast cancer tumors – but that's not even cause for the FDA to pull anything off the shelf. Unless it kills you or hurts you almost immediately, the FDA approves it. Don't you ever wonder why we're never raising money and running races to "prevent" cancer instead of curing it? It's bc sooo many things in our world cause cancer overtime. For example – hot food or coffee served in styrofoam is DIRECTLY linked to leukemia. If you're someone who gets lunch served this way everyday you would probably want to know this. But its just assumed that the general public doesn't facilitate it that often and they don't want to scare the public or incite anger so attention to issues are refocused to "curing."

      July 1, 2010 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
    • H

      Ana, you couldn't be more wrong. Cancer is rampant because people are living longer than ever before and thus have more time to GET cancer. Also, diagnostics are better than ever before. Quit propagating BS ideas about cancer based on your anecdotal observations. That's not science.

      July 1, 2010 at 03:02 | Report abuse |
    • LH

      So, was my cancer diagnosis at age 33 due to people living longer and allowing more time for cancer to develop? I was the FIRST person in my family to ever be diagnosed with cancer at ANY age. If genetics are not the issue in my case what is? I would have to say environmental factors, i.e. chemicals.

      Age is NOT a factor when it comes to Cancer risk. It's not an "old people's" disease.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  33. Travis

    I'm sorry for sounding a bit critical, but any journalist who uses "alot" in his or her report, with grammar as poor as yours, loses all credibility. CNN, where the heck are you dredging these people up?

    July 1, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. scott

    Joe the reason why Coke uses real sugar in Mexico cola is due to the high cost of corn syrup in Mexico. Visa versa Sugar is too expensive here in the US. By the way Mexico Coke cola tast so much better than US coke cola.

    July 1, 2010 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. scott

    Also back to the dye issue. what if I like Red Dye or an dye in my food it should not be banned. Im sure theres a ton of options without dye. One walk thru Whole Foods I have found a million options of food without dye. Let the market dictate the fate of dye.

    July 1, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allergic

      I shouldn't have to go to whole foods and spend $6 for a batch of strawberries to be sure I'm free and clear of dyes. I should be able to go to my local grocery store and pick them up and not have to smell them to see if there is dye in them. I shouldn't have to spend EXTRA to make sure I'm buying something with less stuff added to it.

      July 1, 2010 at 08:09 | Report abuse |
  36. So what is next...

    So, I see a lot of people say it is so sad this continues but yet 'we' do nothing about it. How do we push for change, how do we push to say we don't want all of the 'junk' in our food? Any ideas?

    July 1, 2010 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Andrew

    In the paragraph: "The Food Standards Agency, an independent government agency in Great Britain, released research a few years ago that suggested a linked between hyperactivity in some children and certain food coloring. Starting July 20th in the European Union, food containing some of these dyes will carry additional warning labels indicating possible adverse effects on "activity and attention in children."", the ;last sentence is in a smaller font. Why? Are you hoping people don't read that sentence?

    July 1, 2010 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Mike

    I wish they didn't dye everything. You can't even find some foods without dye.
    Metamucil berry burst has so much red dye in it, it looks sick.
    And why do they dye ham all the time? Ham isn't pink, it's white.

    July 1, 2010 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Annexian


    IMO, some CEO told them "The next batch of toys and food coming from China is full of toxins and you'd better shut yer yap if y'know what's good for you. Just do something to hurt and hinder any remaining USA manufacturers..."

    I don't trust them one bit.

    July 1, 2010 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. R

    MAN this article just ruined Tostito's Salsa con Queso dip for me. I just looked at the ingredients and I see Yellow 5 and Yellow 6! Arrgh.

    July 1, 2010 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Ryan Mahan

    Isn't news writing 101 the place journalists learn a lot is really two words? My wife teaches this to her fourth graders!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • R

      LOL I almost put the same comment ... News Writing 101 is way too late to learn that "a lot" is two words. 4th grade sounds more like it. ;-)

      July 1, 2010 at 03:00 | Report abuse |
  42. Wolfgang Spahn

    Didn't we already have the "Red 40 is bad"/"no it isn't" argument in the '70s? Wasn't that why M&Ms weren't red for a while? Or was that cochineal? These scientifically unsupported molecular hysteria things blur together after a while.

    July 1, 2010 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Fernando F.

    so finally we will see a meat that is green and not red.

    July 1, 2010 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Lulu

    Uh, yeah... You can take my word for it or not, but I know first hand that all this processed artificial stuff and colorings and additives are bad for me. If I can't make it in my kitchen, grow it, raise it, or pronounce it, It's highly unlikely you're going to get me to eat it. I try to buy organic and eat only whole grains too. It's amazing how things like fatigue, mood swings, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, joint pain, A.D.D., etc., DRASTICALLY improve when you change your diet!! The funny thing is, after a few weeks, I didn't even crave processed junk anymore! I think many of the chemicals in our food are actually addictive and make us crave more food and more of the same chemicals.
    On occasion, I will indulge in a piece of a pastry, or a piece of candy, but the funny thing is, I no longer NEED it, and I'm completely satisfied with just a little bit.
    So suit yourself! If you wanna fill your body with crap, you're gonna feel like crap!
    ...and I'm not about to trust government agencies either... They'll say things and skew research to suit their own needs whenever it suits them.

    July 1, 2010 at 03:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • H

      It's amazing how the placebo effect works! Just eat something that suggests "ALL NATURAL AND ORGANIC" on the label and you've cured everything, including HIV, fibromyalgia, ADD, cancer, syphilis, etc! Pseudoscience never felt so good!

      July 1, 2010 at 03:58 | Report abuse |
  45. Lulu

    Nah, I KNOW the people who raise my meat, and I grow my own veggies. I also know a lot about the small, reputable, food producers I do buy from. I've learned about the ingredients that can possibly have unlisted additives, which I stay away from. And I've also learned to avoid the completely natural ingredients, that when combined, natrually preoduse MSG and other harmful things.
    On a second note, I never believed changing my diet would make me feel any better in the first place. So no, It really wasn't a "placebo effect". It might have been if I had believed I'd feel better from eating differently, but I never thought it would make any difference in how I felt, so no.

    July 1, 2010 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. equihab

    American food companies won't be happy until EVERY ingredient on the label has been replaced with a (cheaper) chemical alternative. Who cares about cancer, neurological problems, or toxicity? As long as McDonald's can save that 1/2 of a cent per strawberry sundae or BigMac.

    July 1, 2010 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. S.Jones

    It's about time..What took sooooo long.Don't just Consider banning the colors....DO IT.....we've been aware for along time of the issues with these dyes. Ever wonder where the problems with ADHD and so on begin. We don't needdthis CRAP in our food and drink. can jump in here anytime.

    July 1, 2010 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • S. Jones

      Oh Sorry. I almost forgot , the FDA was bought out in years past.Don't think we should expect any help. Looks like we may be on our own folks. GO CSPI...(IMAGINE..our own Government.Oh Man..I almost forgot again..It's all about the $ ha)

      July 1, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  48. arthur mcarthur

    i found out the hard way when i drank kool aid that was red,and fixdent that was pink. my toung swell up very big, went to er because of it. people can belive what they want,but there should be no dyes in any food or candythat you eat. bottom line...

    July 1, 2010 at 06:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Kevin

    I don't know about any studies linking these to hyperactivity. I would think that would be a pretty hard link. If you read about petrochemicals though, they are not happy things. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE! Not good.

    July 1, 2010 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Al

    I read a lot of different thoughts above. I have been a scientist most of my life. When my son was small, we found we could not feed him Tang, because he would become extremely hyper within 20 minutes. This was determined by careful exclusion and cataloging of what he ingested along with time of day. Time of day did not matter, undyed food did not matter. The Tang was just the trigger. I worked for a while at a distribution center to be able to stay home and take care of my father. All of the boxes were dyed with Red 40. After a few months, I began to experience itching and burning of my calves. On careful cataloging and comparison testing, I found Red 40 to be the culprit in the food I ate. I believe strong exposure to inhaled dye particles led to sensitizing. It took me years to get desensitized. My wife had to have her thyroid removed due to Grave's Disease. She began to experience similar itching and burning of her legs. On checking, we discovered that every single drug for thyroid disease contains Red 40. What the HECK! Why do they use a dye for a medicine? Now she has to watch what she eats to keep from having an allergic reaction. The FDA needs to get on the ball. Make companies remove dyes from anything that does not require it to sell, at the very least.

    July 1, 2010 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allergic

      Speaking of dyes in medicine, I had a tonsillectomy in my early 20's. I have a documented allergy to Red 40. I told the doctors this. What do they prescribe me? Hydrocodone syrup that is BRIGHT red. First, I was bothered that I was given it despite having allergy warnings all over my files. Secondly, I was told that I had no other option. I couldn't swallow pills, and all the pain reliever syrups were dyed red. Talk about suffering.

      July 1, 2010 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
  51. Bill@salisburync

    I know my situation is unusual, but I have a documented migraine problem associated with Red dye #40. This is not a "maybe," folks... I almost died from cherry-flavored cough medicine artificially colored red. As someone who is sensitive to this kind of thing, I have to watch everything "red" I eat, and it's everywhere – soft drinks, desserts, candy, etc. Basically, if it has sugar in it and it's red, there's about a 90%+ chance it has red dye #40 in it (in America, anyway). If this stuff is bad for other people too, you need to know that you are probably consuming MUCH more of it than you are aware of.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allergic

      I understand your pain. I've had the same problems. I was in and out of the hospital for 7 days b/c of Red 40. Xrays, cat scans, and a spinal tap... migraines, vomiting, partial blindness. All b/c of a piece of candy, or some fruit compote that shouldn't have had dye in it in the first place. I still hate cherries b/c of the flavoring/red dye combo. I hate having to ask people in restaurants if their food is dyed or 'real.'

      July 1, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse |
  52. Diana

    Hey Duane,

    Your stupidity is showing. You actually misspelled genius (he, he, he). Make sure you don't look like an a$$ yourself when you are attacking other people's intelligence.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  53. Frank

    It's hard to take anyone seriously who writes an article and uses ALOT as a word. Yeah, simple thing but loses A LOT of credibility!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  54. shmamac

    so, just out of curiousity, why does this matter? supposedly anything will cause behavior problems in children, especially if it has sugar in it(which most of these things with dyes in it have). if you dont want to expose your kids to anything dangerous, moniter what they eat. its that simple. dont want cancer? well, sorry your pretty much s.o.l. Haven't you heard? everything causes cancer. and for those of you who want to comment and say something stupid, whatever, im just voicing my opinion. as far as im concerned, this is not a discussion group, its a place to speak your mind and leave it at that. :)

    July 1, 2010 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Allergic

      The hyper activity in children is a media draw to grab attention. It matters b/c it is in everything and there is little to no control concerning food dyes in food. Look at some labels, it's in everything. You can find dyes in everything from boxed foods, to beverages, to your fresh produce stand, and red meat. Companies aren't required to tell you about it either.
      It's important to me because I'm allergic to Red dyes. I check every label and smell every piece of "fresh" produce I buy. The dyes have a very distinctive unnatural smell. There is no reason to color everything... and if it must be colored, there are natural methods of doing it.

      July 1, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
  55. Marcy

    Finally a dialog about something we learned in the 70's. I was asked to place my son on the Feingold Diet by his teachers at Mandrine Farm School in about 1977. I was busy so didn't get around to it right away, but while falling asleep in the college library studying accounting...well the Feingold Diet seemed like a good diversion. I found the book that changed my son's life.

    The Pharmaceutical and grocer's associations must have been in cahoots as reported because there was quickly a squash put on this fact driven approach to hyperactivity as it was called. We did not tell his teachers that we changed Coke to Sprite, or Hershey's to Mounds, or Captain Crunch to Cheerios. We wanted to see if the teachers noticed a difference and in 3 days they call up to say "You put him on the diet didn't you?" He went from not being about to remember how to spell words to being in stable club. Basically from E to A if short order. Once in a hurry to study for an economics test I let him order McDonald's cookies. That cookie wasn't into his stomach from is mouth before he was flying around the restaurant doing imitations of Groucho Marx. The kid was a riot...just could not stop when on artificial colors and favors. Vanillin and red were the worst as I recall.

    If you have the time to invest in yourself or a child check it out.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Feingold mom

      Marcy, you took the words right out of my mouth. It has made a world of difference for my ADHD son. I agree with some of the other posters that ADHD is overdiagnosed. I don't like to take medication unless it's absolutely necessary, and I raise my kids that way. As a result I tried the Feingold program for my son and for a while it worked wonders. He was a different child. As parents of true ADHD children know, no solution will work forever what works changes as your child grows. Now my son needs a minimum dose of medication, but we still adhere to the Feingold to keep his need for medication low and to help the medication be more effective. It has also dramatically reduced the flare ups of his chronic excema.

      It is tragic how many parents don't understand the effects of the chemicals that are put in most packaged foods, and how many of those foods are adversited on TV to children. Parents think they're doing their kids a favor by giving them yogurt, but if that yogurt is neon pink, you're doing them more harm than good.

      July 1, 2010 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
    • Liz Brannan

      We have followed the Feingold Diet for years. God bless em', they made a world of difference in our lives!

      July 1, 2010 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
  56. Allergic

    I am one of those people who is allergic to Red dyes, mostly Red 40, but I've also had reactions to Red 3. You don't realize how much of your food is colored artificially until you start getting ill because of that coloring. It's hard to eat out at restaurants because the dye is in the food there, but no one working there knows or knows how to check for it. I typically don't know it's in there until the food comes and I see the glowing red or smell the dye (Red 40 has a very distinctive smell). I would appreciate better labeling. I hate buying a drink from a soda machine only to find that it's red, and I have to give or throw it away. I hate ordering food from a restaurant and sending it back b/c it has dye in it. The most basic of things is filled with dye, you'd think you could easily avoid it. But you can't. For that reason, something needs to be done.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      And don't forget interrogating waiters to see if the Ice Tea is real or not! I feel like such a brat doing that but I have found that's one of the main places Red #40 is hidden and I might not know about it. That and salmon.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
  57. Tigresse

    Some interesting comments here...seem to be 2 camps of thought. I would "err" on the side of organic anyday over GMO, factory-produced foods. Since the end of WWII, we've gone from eating foods that were naturally organic, to mass-produced foods, from our meats to our dairy to the massive agroculture of fruits and vegetables. This all has to do with urbanization on a massive scale, fewer farmers needed to produce large amounts of food, to the booming world population that has gone unchecked without a major global war since the 1940's. (Not that I'm advocating another global war as a solution to population reduction, certainly not!)

    Ever wonder why we're living longer? Because medical science has made it POSSIBLE to live longer when in the past nature would take its own course, ie. cancer, disease, etc., and people would die off at a younger age. Extending life expectancy does not necessarily contribute to quality of life and coupled with the deification of modern medicine, many Westerners in particular, have the false idea that somehow our lives got better. With this lifestyle and increased affluence comes the paradox of increased cancer rates and heart disease and diabetes.

    While I don't have the ultimate solutions here, nor am I an expert, I do think we need to ask better questions. If extending life expectancy can't stave off certain diseases, such as cancer or heart disease – actually the reverse seems to be the case – then WHAT exactly are we doing wrong in the big picture?

    I propose that HOW our food is processed, combined with increased environmental toxins that play with our heatlh, we are playing with fire.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  58. Dan

    How is this news? THis has been known for YEARS! (But, I am grateful for it finally getting some air time.)

    Check out feingold dot org for other information.

    And, don't count on the FDA to help; they've been bought by industry for years.

    July 1, 2010 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  59. thenextstep

    Surely its got NOTHING to do with the synthetic weiner casing..................

    July 1, 2010 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  60. algorythm

    About time someone does something about these artificial colors in our food. Don't you think over 20 years of exposure in our bodies it would do harm? I believe these will be like cigarettes in the future, where they will have warning signs on use and proven to cause cancer.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  61. sumguy2006

    This sounds an awful lot like the scare about immunizations causing autism is kids. Wasn't that farce started by a concerned "scientist". I applaud when real scientists, use real science to track down real cancer causes. However, the "science" here sounds very thin at best. Maybe this is just poor reporting by CNN, but where are the facts. Simple stating dyes "raise concern" means about some facts about doses, and outcomes? Has anyone checked if these scientists work a Pumpkin Lobby?

    July 1, 2010 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  62. Sue

    My youngest of 3 children has a sensitivity to red dye that makes his chronic acid reflux go haywire. He has learned over the years not to ingest the stuff if he can avoid it. Which is fine with me, because it means no Kool-Aid, no junk foods with high concentrations of dye. It took us almost 6 months to figure out what the exact cause was, and once we removed it from his diet (school & daycare were the main culprits because we couldn't control what they fed him until we proved the dye was the issue), he has been fine.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  63. S E

    Finally get that garbage out of my food!

    July 1, 2010 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  64. Really?

    I'm in favor of this motion. When I was little, I had HORRIBLE reactions to anything with Red 40 in it... ie: Gushers, Hawaiian Punch, etc. You know, stuff kids love. I would break out into itchy rashes at the joints, be painfully hyper, and then eventually crash with a pounding headache. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world to experience similar symptoms, either. Get the dyes out.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  65. DeadNotSleeping

    Yellow #5 gives me migraines. It took me FOREVER to figure this out, because Yellow #5 is in EVERYTHING – chips (Doritos), pastries (Pilsbury's crescents), candies (Starbursts, vanilla wafers), salsas (Moe's adds Yellow #5 to their tomatillo salsa, as well as their fish and their veggies)

    Even if only 1 in 10,000 people have a sensitivity to this chemical, it irks me to no end that it is considered a "safe" additive. It's a COLOR! It isn't nutritionally viable, adds nothing to the food experience that couldn't be replicated by something more natural.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  66. Eric

    Seriously, these dyes do nothing but add color that attracts kids to junk food. Why not scale back and add a dose of realism and practicality?

    July 1, 2010 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  67. Mike

    Dyes in foods make no sense. Why we ingest unnatural products that do nothing to increase flavor, provide added nutrition, or increase the shelf life of food products is absurd. If my soda is tan instead of bright yellow, why do I care? Some of these colors most certainly cause chemical reactions within the body and they aren't needed. I don't know if we need a law for this, as a lot of companies are scaling back on this on their own (due to the current natural food craze going on), but the colors should go. The cost of these colors is actually quite high when looking at the food industry as a whole.

    July 1, 2010 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  68. Karen

    As a mother of a child who has an allergy to yellow dye, I am ALL for banning these dyes. My daughter is allergic to chocolate, yellow dye, cottonseed, and sesame seed. Do you know how many things have yellow dye and cottonseed in it? It's unreal and it's so very very hard to find foods for her to be able to eat – ones that she likes and ones that she can eat while at school, snack time, etc. We can't even take her to most restaurants because of these dyes, etc. I have searched and searched for others who have food allergies like this because we feel very alone in the matter. The FDA does everything for those who have milk/nut allergies so they can walk into a restaurant, etc and know if the food has those ingredients in it, but there is NOTHING to let us know at restaurants if they have yellow dye, or other rare allergens. It's a shame.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  69. Sarah

    Finally some sanity. I am one of many people I know who have allergic reactions to Red #40, and I know several others who were in the same boat as children – told we had psychological problems and needed meds but were saved by a strict diet. So many other kids and parents will be treated as if their kids have mental problems when all they need to do is put down the Kool Aid and cheap hot dogs. I am 34 years old, healthy and have a normal life, and a little Red #40 will keep me up for 2 days straight. A lot of Red #40 and bad things happen. I have to be very careful about what I eat and drink. It's hard since it's so prevalent.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  70. Rick Box

    My daughter is allergic to red dye #40. The most nonsensical thing it's added to is BENADRYL liqiuid for kids – you know, for when a kid is having an allergic reaction? I wish they would at least remove all these dyes from medicine, if nothing else.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sue

      Rick Box – there is a Benadryl for diabetics that is CLEAR – no sugar, no added dyes. I buy it for my youngest, who is sensitive to Red #40. He has airborne pollen allergies (like many people do), and occasionally breaks out in hives for reasons we can't discern, other than to think he came in contact with some unknown allergen that caused him to break out. The Benadryl for diabetics is a Godsend.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • wren7

      I used to take Benadryl caplets (for adults) and was able to get a "dye-free" version that was clear. It was more expensive of course. I bought it simply because I didn't want DYE added to a PILL, which seemed ludicrous to me. Now I can't find it, so the company probably stopped making it. To put dye in a medication is just stupid.

      July 1, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • wren7

      Sue, where are you finding the clear Benadryl? See my post - I used to be able to find it, I think labeled "dye free," but cannot find it anymore.

      July 1, 2010 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
  71. McCluck

    Uhg, the public is stupid to the point that a company can increase its product sales by making it pretty but toxic. Its gotten to the point that if some people see where there food actually came from (a shrimp with a shell, a cow, a chicken...) they dont want to eat it. Talk about living in a fairytale world. Imagine how dumb the average persone is, and by definition half must be dumber than that...

    There needs to be a public outcry but it seems this day and age, no one can assemble enouph to put a stop to the abuses by huge companies. If we could get people to boycott, we may start getting better products. With a rise in all sorts of auto immune diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, etc. we need our FDA to step it up and do what they were supposed to do.-protect us. Even from the elusive chemicals that only have an effect over a lifetime.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick Box

      >>Imagine how dumb the average persone is, and by definition half must be dumber than that...
      That would be the definition of median, not average.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
  72. Bryan

    Get it through your heads, anything not made by Mother Nature required for us to survive that we put in our bodies is foriegn WILL hurt us if to much of it is ingested/inhaled/exposed. For some things, a little won't hurt, our bodies have ways of removing it. If that system is over taxed, it can and will kill us. Those of you who slept through high school biology don't get it. Good, thats more room and oxygen for those of us with half a brain!

    July 1, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  73. Mark

    Science or no science, anecdotal or not, I can say that Red 40 is bad. After years of suffering with debilitating migraines, and painstakingly tracking the various triggers to my migraines, I systematically (not scientifically) identified one common ingredient to food-based triggers for my migraines: RED 40. I eliminated all foods with Red 40 and I am mostly migraine free after suffering 2-3 migraines a week for more than 10 years. Whether it is officially banned or not, I will never purchase anything that contains Red 40.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  74. Alex

    those studies that "proved" the dyes to be carcinogenic were poorly designed; the researchers ramped up the dosage until a response was evident. However, perception is everything, so the food industry had best find something else to use (which will eventually be "proven" dangerous as well).

    July 1, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  75. Greg

    This Country fills us with so many chemicals and treat us like morons. There possibly was a day when the color of a food increased or decreased a desire to consume it. But today, with all the health risks linked to cancer and other illnesses people would prefer (I now that I would) to consume foods which are as natural as possible. In Europe they don't allow such ingredients and people prefer it that way. Are we so shallow that we need a food to not only be tasty but aesthetically pleasing as well? I don't think so. As in most situations it comes down to money and this Country allows money to trump health in many instances. I remember when I was a kid that there were concerns about food colorings and artificial ingredients being linked to cancers and such so this isn't new. I don't know about others but I don't want my family to consume foods that are not natural and unfortunately this country and it's politics are slaves to the chemical industry.
    Face it, they are everywhere from pesticides to food colorings and something needs to be done.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  76. Barbara Lock

    I applaud this recommendation! My son is allergic to red # 40, but may also be allergic to the yellows and also to carmine, which is that "natural" food colorant or food dye made from crushed bugs. We spent years trying to figure out why he broke out in itchy hives, why his lips swelled. I thought I was going nuts! Why is this recommendation even needed. Is it so difficult for food producers to restrict food ingredients to actual food?

    July 1, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  77. Chris


    Although you try to sound very persuasive, your comments are not really well thought out. You poorly try to distinguish between CAUSALITY and CORRELATION while doing the same thing you argue against. You conclude that there is a CAUSALITY between an increase in Autism and a decrease in retardation but isn't that only a CORRELATION? You conclude that an increaese in life expectancy is the CAUSE of an increase in cancer when once again it is only a CORRELATION.

    It is not your fault, but you are inexperienced and naive. You believe that the "established" medical journals are the only answer. They are not. Time and time again they are wrong and slow. In fact many major vaccines, etc. were counter to the establishment. Salk's development of the polio vaccine using a dead virus instead of a live virus is a typical example.

    Links between various pesticides, asbestos, etc. and cancer did not start with a conclusive large study. It begins with links. Not all links end up being correct but if you ever become a parent you will follow these "links" very closely.

    H, I used to have the same views as you until I became a little more experienced about the ways of the world. I learned that choosing between listening to what a mother says and a pediatrician, you listen to the mother. Most pediatricians will agree.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  78. Lillian Carmichael

    I am allergic to Yellow Food Color #5. It causes me to break our in hives. My arms or legs will turn red and itch like crazy. A lot of food has it in it. I read the labels. A lot of cookies and yellow cake mix a no no. I get shots every three months, use a special lotion after I bathe, use a prescription itch cream and take benedryl. It is no fun to have a hive attack.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  79. Christie

    I am the mother of a eight year old autistic boy and to those of you who are scoffing at the thought that a food dye(s) can adversely affect a child's behavior, you are not only ignorant but naive. Somewhere along the way, society has decided that flavor must equal color and vise versa. I challenge anyone who has an open mind and is not educated or simply has not paid attention to the prevalence of food dyes: Open your cabinets. Read labels. If it is not a necessity for flavor, and food dyes are not, then why are they in there?

    July 1, 2010 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  80. Erin

    I think it's pretty obvious that natural is better.. if there's a one in a trillion chance you'll get cancer eating candy... ok, not bad. But then there's also the one in a trillion chance you'll get cancer eating Chinese food loaded with MSG... and your soda.. and your processed meats and cheeses... and your cookies... People go on and on about how there's suuuuch a small percentage of dangerous substances in their food – but when that's all they eat, it's going to finally add up to a trillion. If it costs too much for a company to make their foods bright colors naturally – rather than using something that's a tiny bit dangerous... why don't they just make the product a milder color? I'd be willing to sacrifice a few shades from my mustard for the sake of my longterm health

    July 1, 2010 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  81. Edward

    I stopped ingesting these dyes a long time ago. I just eat cornflakes and drink things like snapple and other naturally flavored beverages. I only drink soda when I go out drinking, which isn't very often.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  82. karen

    My son has very severe reactions to food dyes. I kept a food journal to try to figure out why he occasionally had a severe neck/ chin rash.He would also become very irrational and display tics and spasms.

    Did I consult doctors? Yes over and over. He had many allergy tests. (never for food dye though). His main doctor concluded that his symptoms where the result "reactions" to antibiotics. Seemingly every antibiotic! A light went on when I realized that the antibiotics that caused him such problems were pink, and the antibiotic that he had no reaction to was white. Read the 40. From that day on I kept a food journal. From which I concluded that red 40, and yellow lake were to be avoided. Give my 6 year old son an apple and he will munch away and chat with you about subatomic particles and the amazing Universe. Give him anything with dye in it, and he will sit there and stare at you with vacant eyes, twitching, and uttering negative thoughts about himself and everything around him.

    So basically he eats almost no "food" from the shelves of the grocery store. He eats only fruits, veg, proteins,whole grains and homemade breads and baked goods.No soda. But club soda and juice.If he has any candy treats I make sure they contain only natural dyes, like beetroot. Does this diligence in diet cost more? No.More time consuming? Definitely. But so worth the effort!

    July 1, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      It is impossible for some people to comprehend that YOU could be right and the DOCTORS you saw wrong.

      July 1, 2010 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      About 18 years ago I ate a box of hot tamales. Got a really bad rash on neck, chest, shoulders. My mom (who is a Drug Therapy professor at a medical school) said I must be allergic to Red #40. Somehow she knew/read about this way back then.

      July 1, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
  83. Jessi

    I can't take this seriously when "alot" is spelled wrong. BUT, I totally agree with banning anything in our food that is 1) not necessary and 2) a carcinogens and contaminants.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  84. JustSaying

    Dyes added to foods was prompted by the consumer market who through the power of their wallet, demanded foods to look this way or that way or taste this way or that way. Where there is a demand there will always be someone or some business that will fill that void. If it's great enough and response to the "someone" is successful, the similar businesses will soon follow suit – it's how business works – supply and demand. The consumer will change the market by their pocketbook again just the same. But, it is not an overnight process nor will it be broadly applied if a majority do not find or believe it to be a significant issue relative to other issues.

    And, looking back to previous decades and generations, people ate at home and prepared their own foods. They didn't expect that it be already processed and available out of a can or a box. Neither, did parents let their children drink something past water or perhaps lemonade when lemons were in season. People didn't grab that fast-food crap virtually daily as they do now – especially when pregnant and potentially starting the allergy chain in the developing baby.

    And before folks get on their high horse about all chemicals that are used these days, I'm sure people would be screaming foul if the cost of produce went up 1000% because so much rotted before it got to market or if you were required to always wash all produce in beach water to hope to clean off the contamination so that you didn't get internal parasites, dysentery and the like that kills a great many people world-wide ... especially children, the elderly and the weakened.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  85. Doc

    Personally, I didn't ask for your opinion in the first damn place; death is inevitable, so piss off and lemme live my life with the things that make me happy. Things that are getting far fewer with the economy, war, oil spill and this socialistic regime we have in D.C. that want to take everything from me yet give everything to those that don't belong here legally.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  86. Edward

    What reason do people have to defend these dyes anyway, they can't be good for you and since it does nothing at all for the foods it's treated with any negative side effect is bad and its use needs to stop.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  87. Karen

    Do we really need 15 million pounds of artificial garbage in our food? The UK proves the same job can be done with natural sources.

    July 1, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  88. Mike Kapral

    Did anyone else notice that they linked to Canadian Scholars' Press Inc webpage?

    Way to go again CNN!

    July 1, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  89. Paul

    Perhaps some of the time and money going into finding all the things that are allegedly or have a chance of being bad for us should go into research finding the part of the genetic code that pre-disposes people to be succeptible to some things.
    Why your child acts hyper because of chemicals in food dyes but others are perfectly normal could be akin to why some people have uncontrollable sneezing fits and/or they break out in hives when they come in contact with pet dander while plenty of others, seemingly the majority, have zero problem.
    Don't misunderstand me. I am all for proper research being done to determine the safety of anything we are going to put into our bodies. I just think the same amount of research should be put into determining why that 1-in-X-thousand gets Y disease because of item Z that's being tested. The reason being is that identifying the external trigger and then eliminating that from a list of things you put into your body does zero tell you a) why your body reacts that way to it and b) what else your body may react similarly to.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  90. Karen

    It became obvious to me that my oldest son got nasty and hostile when he consumed red dye. Youngest son went hyper with yellow. Clean the crap out of your kid's diets and see the difference a couple of weeks without them bring. Your children deserve the best life you can give them, and feeding safe, natural food is a small but easy thing to do. Don't sacrifice your children's future for convenience. I can say this, I raised four children, worked long hours and still managed to cook healthy. Just takes planning.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  91. Karen

    Hey H- want to know the truth?

    July 1, 2010 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  92. Greg

    JustSaying.... Agree with you with some of what you are saying but how are other developed nations that don't allow such ingredients doing it? Being that the US is supposed to be the best country in the world how is it that we cannot find a way to avoid such potential food hazards and keep it natural? We can. There are organic substitutes that will do the job and if they are used by all they will be produced to be inexpensive but what would happen to the chemical industry? Money is the true evil in this country. Would I pay a little bit more for an organic food? So many are doing it right now but too many companies want to make the most money as fast as possible. Besides the affects when you consume pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals they eventually end up in our ground water which in turn make their way to rivers and steams and eventually the ocean. You read about the problems now with farm raised fish because they are mostly raised in rivers and contained areas. These areas are poisoned with chemicals from ground water and it's only getting worse. This country doesn't like to scare its citizens and tries to keep such things under wrap until it's too late. We need alternatives and we need to implement them now!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  93. Alan

    Most sodas contain less than 0.004 grams of food dye while there is about 40 grams of sugar per 12 oz. can. It is much more likely that it is the sugar making your kid hyper. The hyperactivity study done in the UK was based around dyes that have AZO bonds. The study was completely flawed as they injected the mice with thousands of times more dye than any human could ever consume in their lifetime. The study also suggested the ban or labeling of all synthetic food dyes including non AZO dyes like quinoline yellow even though their study showed no data linking any hyperactivity to non-AZO dyes. Yes there are allergic reactions to some food dyes especially Tartrazine yellow #5 and Allura red #40 but it is quite rare, much rarer than nut, shellfish, and even NATURAL fruit allergies. It is fine if you choose for your family not to eat or drink product that contain these compounds, but at least read the actual research and let me choose for myself what I am going to eat or drink.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  94. JA in VA

    My wife and I were amazed recently to see the difference in our 4 year old after he eats something with Red 40. About a month or two ago our neighbor happened to mention the effect Red 40 has on their child and we were curious if that was what caused the extreme hype-activity we sometimes noticed in our son. We started monitoring the ingredients in the food he ate, but did not necessarily change his diet. We noticed an undeniable increase in hyperactivity every time he ate something with Red 40. My wife did a little research one night on-line, and we are now cutting out all Red 40 (as well as other artificial colors) from his diet. There are natural ways to color food (beet juice extract, etc), but I imagine it simply costs more to produce so companies don't do it. I'm a staunch free-market conservative, and don't like the government dictating what I can and can't eat, so I would much prefer everybody was educated on these type of dangers to the point where we, as a society, forced companies to change by not buying their product. I don't believe the hyperactivity is a side-effect that all children (or adults) will experience from eating artificial coloring, but there are enough other dangers from eating a petroleum based product to convince everybody to simply buy food with no artificial coloring.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  95. is this normal

    i ate m&ms and my poop turned green for 2 days

    July 1, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  96. Spanish Inquisition

    This kind of poisoning was known in Europe already back in the 80s. Nothing new. Only thing seems to be Americans don't like it when government gets involved to take care of them. Sleep tight America !

    July 1, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  97. Sarah

    The crazy thing about this article is the fact that I've known about the harmful effects of these dyes since I was a child. I remember learning about this in my sixth grade class...and that was in 1982! What an incredibly aware, and impressionable, teacher I had at that age.

    July 1, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ,,,,,,

      she didn't teach you how to use commas though

      July 1, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
  98. Alan

    Sarah, the funny thing is that you obviously have no idea what you are actually talking about. The "harmful" effects that you learned about in your sixth grade class in 1982 were likely a result of the 1976 FDA ban on Amaranth Red #2, which by the way is STILL completely legal in Europe. Facts people facts!!!!!!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Sara, Didn't you know that Alan was there when your teacher spoke with you in 1982 and knows for a "fact" what was said?

      July 1, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
  99. Alan

    I said, "were likely", never said I knew that is what she was talking about, but considering the knowledge the FDA and the american public had back then this is a good guess. Do you have any "facts" about any ill affects that were known in 1982 Chris?

    July 1, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Do I remember my knowledge about food dyes in 1982? Sorry I can't remember. What I do know is that you have no idea about what somebody else knew in 1982.

      July 1, 2010 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      I do have a very good idea what the FDA and the general public knew about synthetic food colorings in 1982. So where else do you think this teacher would have gotten her info then? There was very little knowledge out there about any ill effects in 1982, most was speculation and much of it was centered around red #2 being a carcinogen from a study from Russia in 1971. Previous to that in the 1950s Orange #1 was banned after kids that had consumed large amounts of it fell ill. Other than that there were not any major studies that found food dyes to be harmful.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
  100. drinker75

    How about parents stop feeding their kids all the crap with dyes in it? Kids shouldn't be eating pop tarts, fruit loops, kool aid, etc, etc. My kids have this stuff so rarely because it's garbage!

    July 1, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  101. Alan

    Anyone know what the life expectancy of the average human was before sythetic food preservatives were created? Back when everything that humans ate was natural, I would guess that it was much lower than it is now. The thing is that yes there are a lot of product in the marketplace today with chemicals in them that you should not eat too much of, but that goes for all products natural and artificial. You are not making your kids completely safe by eliminating their intake of food dyes. It is a very good idea to have them eat foods that are more healthy in general but generalizing that one particular ingredient is going to cause them great harm when billions of children have been ingesting these compounds for years with less documented issues than natural food such as nuts and fruits is absurd and totally misguided. Many more children die every year from food poisining and food allergies than die from synthetic food coloring.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Let me get your position straight: Is it that life expectancy has increased due to the use of synthetic food perservatives? Or is it since life expectancy has increased there should not be any concern about whether certain chemicals have any adverse effects? Sorry, but neither one makes much sense to me.

      Also, I don't think anyone is arguing that people should not be concerned about "natural" allergies and only be concerned with artificial allergies. It is possible to be a parent that is concerned about allergies to peanuts, etc. in addition to certain perservatives.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Was linking life expectancy to PRESERVATIVES not synthetic dyes and was just basically stating that we are living much longer now at least partly because of the way we process food. And on the allergy front I'm just pointing out that "all natural" fruits cause more health issues than food dyes but you want dyes banned.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      OK, preservatives increase life expectancy...I am glad you cleared that up for me.

      And natural fruits cause allergic reactions so anything else that causes allergic reactions is acceptable.

      Thanks for your help.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
  102. Greg

    Alan, I think you're trying to prove your point with a very general statement/question. There are so many reasons for the life expectancy age to be higher these days such as breakthroughs in medicine for one. You sound like you're employed within the chemical industry or a lobbyist for them. Who else would fight so hard for chemicals and use such general statements to prove a point?

    July 1, 2010 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alan

      Partly, I said PARTLY! Not fighting for chemicals just trying to point out to people that you should not just read something like this and think that these compounds are going to kill you or your kids, especially when there are so many other food dangers in the world. I'll grant you that the preservative issue should be seperate of the synthetic dye but it is valid that part of the reason that we live longer is that current preservatives and processes allow us to eat much safer food and have a much more stable supply of it. I actually work for a major organic food company that makes only all natural products so if these products were banned my company would have an advantage over the companies that currently sell these products. Working in the food industry for as long as I have I have seen the data from these studies and others and just want the oublic to understand that there are much more improtant food issues that should concern them.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I am voting for ALAN to head the FDA.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
  103. Alan

    FDA is a joke. Did you know that they really do not scrutinize at a product until after it is on commercial shelves? Basically, as long as you make the product with GRAS (generaly recognized as safe) components you can sell it to the public without prior approval from FDA. USDA (meats) and TTB (alcohol) are much more proactive governing bodies.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Then I vote you as dictator so you can govern all bodies and keep us safe.

      July 1, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
  104. John

    Doesn't CNN have spell-checkers? Saundra Young: "alot" is not a word.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  105. Greg

    I just think we have been heading down the wrong path. Just because it works for whole and doesn't cause any problems outright doesn't mean that it's good for our future. All these chemicals are adding up in our bodies, our land and water. I was raised in an Italian family built on homemade, good food. I was taught to stay away from the junk. Nowadays it's something that we all need to consider. Fast food, quick energy, etc. help you endure trough our fast paced, work orientated society. We're built for speed and what we ingest has much to do with this unhealthy lifestyle. This is a free country (so to speak) and companies have rights to produce such foods and it's our duty as responsible people to feed our kids right and take care of ourselves the way that is best. Things aren't going to change overnight so take charge and keep yourself and your family healthy! Things will change eventually. I hope.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  106. Greg

    John, I officially make you the spell checker since it's your only concern.

    July 1, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  107. Check this out:

    For all of you parents out there that want to more about synthetic dyes, preservatives, artificial flavoring and how it DOES effect our children – check out:

    July 1, 2010 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  108. Lulzmacher

    >hyperactivity in children
    I call BS.


    July 1, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cameragirl

      If you saw my kid on Red 40 you would believe, I am sure of that.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Come on over and babysit my 4yr old after he has eaten something with red#40 in it. You would change your mind !!!

      July 1, 2010 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
  109. cameragirl

    My 2-year-old daughter is sensitive to Red 40, and Yellow 6 as well. It's not sugar, it's not anything else, it is the dye for sure. I noticed she got very, very, very unnaturally hyper on Motrin starting before she was one year old. I stopped giving her Motrin and the hyper stopped One day she had a red Swedish Fish and went THROUGH THE ROOF. As another poster said, you can easily tell the difference between regular hyper and Red 40 hyper. Anyone who has seen it knows. So I check the Motrin and, sure enough, Red 40. Just to be sure I got some dye-free Motrin and tried it. No reaction at all. None.

    We are Americans living in Germany with the US Army and as a result I have access to both American food (at the post commissary) and German food, as well as American medicines and German ones. The American stuff is FULL of these colors. The first time my daughter had an ear infection there was ONE antibiotic that did not have Red 40. ONE. Next time I went to a German pharmacy – none of the liquid antibiotics were pink. We got her the medicine, which was still flavored like raspberry, by the way, and she took it with no problem.

    The dyes in the food is difficult and makes it very hard on us when feeding our daughter, This will for sure get harder as she gets older and begins to request things like M&Ms and Pop Tarts and other crap her friends are eating. However putting that stuff in children's medicines is criminal. I have to hunt high and low for dye free versions of over the counter meds, and there is currently one liquid antibiotic that she can take. How is that acceptable? Every doctor she has ever seen knows just what I am talking about when I say Red 40 makes her crazy, The last doc said some kids get asthma-like symptoms!

    If the Germans can have M&Ms and gummi bears and crazy colored cereals and ANTIBIOTICS with dye in them, then we can to. It is time we demand better for our kids.

    July 1, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  110. George Bright

    The CSPI may be overreaching here but I would love to see the FDA conduct a complete re-examination of certified dyes in processed foods. I have a pretty serious intolerance for Red Dye #40 (it's not dangerous but it's certainly unpleasant) and was appalled by pervasiveness of its use. About ten years ago I started a website to talk about the additive, where I explain what the dye is, what the current FDA regulations are and what foods contain Red40.

    While there may be some disagreement about the safety of these dyes, there's no disagreement about how widely used these synthetic dyes are! You'll find Red40 in the unlikeliest of places, from white cake frosting (to warm up the white color) to chocolate pudding (to make it look like a darker, richer brown).

    July 1, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  111. Bill Bro

    I have always been skeptical about claimed made by this self-proclaimed consumer watchdog. For a good description of what CSPI actually does, read this:

    July 1, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  112. MK

    Not only are these dyes in food, but perfumes and lotions as well. Some combinations of these in perfumes make me swell, itch and give me a massive headache. I can choose not to buy products with these dyes, but I can not control other folks perfume usage, so a ban would be fine by me.

    July 1, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      So you think they dyes in other people's perfume effects you? I'm not buying that. Or are they rubbing themselves all over you? It is more likely something in the scent that you are sensitive to, which I can also have problems with.

      July 1, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  113. Maggie

    I haven't read all the comments, but did anyone else notice that first the article says that Red 40 and Yellow 5 and 6 should be banned, then down in the article it lists those in the approved colors?

    July 1, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  114. Maggie

    Ooops, my bad. I re-read, and now I see that it's a different group recommending the ban.. Duh.

    July 1, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  115. Belinda

    As the parent of a child who loses it when she eats red and yellow dyes( the person who described it as "Red 40 hyper" knows exactly what I mean), there is no question that they dyes are the problem. Her pediatrician is the one who gave me a heads-up, so he knows too. That said, I simply don't purchase products with those dyes in them and her teachers know that she can't have them. At this point, even she knows to read the labels because she doesn't like the out-of-control feeling. It makes shopping difficult sometimes and there is yummy stuff she can't have. I wish they weren't there, but with a little time and effort you can avoid them and allow parents who just don't care to continue pumping their kids up with carcinogens.

    July 1, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  116. Angie

    Thank the Lord!!! My son has a sensitivity especially to red food dye. His aggressive behaviors increase and he literally climbs the wall. He has been diagnosed and labled disabled for his ADHD and by doing my own food journal on him found the red dye is a huge no no for him. My favorite thing is when my son is sick there is no over the counter cough medicine to give him EVERYTHING is red. I just really wish that companies would stick with natural colorings (beet juice for red and such). Our poor children are ingesting so many processed foods anymore its no wonder we are a sick obese society. I read a story that in Great Britian they are not allowed to sell things with artificial colorings it is only in America that it is allowed. As for Duane who talks about his red m&m's you just go ahead and eat them glad it doesn't affect you YET. But if you develop cancer maybe then you might think hmmmm red m&m's may not have been so good.

    July 1, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      Angie, your child's reaction, while not being unique, is also not every child.
      Because some people are deathly allergic to bee & wasp stings should we simply eradicate them from the American landscape?
      How about how some folks get violently ill eating seafood? Should stores and restaurants no longer carry seafood as a dining alternative?
      Should food companies give consumers options so you can more readily purchase dye-less foods? Sure.
      Should food companies have more descriptive labels so that if through research a correlation to potential side effects is shown, the label on a food product might read, "Warning: Contains Red 40 which has been shown to cause hyperactivity in some children." ? Fine.
      But let's leave the banning to things that show affecting much more than a small percentage of the population.

      July 1, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • cameragirl

      Paul -the difference is that there is no REASON for these dyes to be used. There are alternatives out there that will allow the world to have red M&Ms and day-glo orange Cheetos and pink antibiotics if they want. Banning these dyes would not deny anyone of anything.

      July 2, 2010 at 09:13 | Report abuse |
  117. Angela

    @ Belinda I completely agree. My step son has the same problems as your daughter. Red and yellow are his worse. Watch out for the blue too.My step son also watches and reads the labels but sometimes its hard. We have changed are ways in eating as well. Most organic things don't have the dyes but not all. Even shampoos, soaps, dryer sheets and etc have it. These things affect his skin as well. Just about everything seems to have dyes, to name a few, chocolate, hotdogs, butter, cheese...etc. It also depends on the brands.

    @ drinker75 my step son is allergic to other peoples perfumes that has the dyes in them and not because of the smell but because of the dyes. He can be next to someone and if they happen to get to close it really effects him.

    July 1, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • drinker75

      How do you know it is the dye and not the scent?

      July 1, 2010 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  118. Tami

    I would be THRILLED if they discontinued using artificial dyes in foods! My daughter has a food allergy to Red Dye # 40 in particular, to the point of us needing to carry an Epi Pen for it. Now, you can not test for a food allergy to Red Dye # 40, however; Her lips swelled to the point of bleeding once and she vomited after eating Raspberry yogurt. We took her to the Er where we assumed she was allergic to Raspberries. A short time later both of her eyes became so puffy and swelled shut, it looked like she had been punched in the eyes & she could barely see out of them. Another trip to the ER and we were told that she possibly was allergic to something that she touched & then rubbed into her eyes. Yet another short time later & she woke up from a nap with one eye starting to swell closed again. I immediately made an appointment with an allergist who asked that I provide him with everything she had eaten on all three occasions. Of course the first instance I knew what she had eaten because we had gone through that the first time around. The other two occasions I had to really try to remember. He took all of the three days foods & determined that the only thing consistent with all three instances was Red Dye # 40. We stopped giving her ANY foods with Red Dye # 40 in them & have not had another instance since.....almost 5 years later. Therefore, that's all the proof I need to know she's got a food allergy to Red Dye # 40.

    My mother said that when I was young I was very moody. I wonder if I too had a reaction to Red Dye # 40 as a child, or one of the other artificial dyes.

    Red Dye # 40 is also in prescription medicines. I would have to assume other artificial food dyes are as well. There is no need to add these dyes to everything, except for marketing purposes. I would be so happy if they discontinued their use in our foods!

    July 1, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  119. Kelly

    My son has "meltdowns" or is just totally out of control when he has any food containing these dyes. We can always tell when he had something he shouldnt have had. He's 4 yrs old and makes sure he doesnt eat anything he thinks has dyes in it. I think even at his young age he knows that if he eats something he shouldn't ,he's gonna feel different. these dyes need to be banned , they are harmful!

    July 1, 2010 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  120. Vicki

    My sister has been confirmed as allergic to red dye 40. A restaurant told her they had cherry Coke (sodas use caramel as a colorant, not chemical dyes, so she can drink those). What they didn't tell her was that they would mix regular Coke with Grenadine to make it. Grenadine has red dye 40 in it. The hives in her ear/nose/throat canal made her unable to hear and almost unable to breath. She wound up spending a week on prednisone as a result. It's a frightening thing to watch someone suffer through, never mind to go through it personally.

    Sure, there are plenty of things that people are allergic to (like peanuts for example) that it doesn't make sense to ban because they have a nutritional purpose. As long as foods are properly labelled so they can be avoided it's manageable. These dyes serve no nutritional purpose and they are in so many things that it's difficult to find things she can eat (especially in a restaurant where you can't read labels and don't know what sauce might have artificial coloring), never mind medications she can take (she has to take special dye-free allergy pills. Am I alone in seeing the irony in being allergic to allergy pills?).

    Oh and by the way, the only company that has ever tested the safety of red dye 40 in an official capacity is the company that makes it. Nope, no conflict of interests there.

    Personally, I'd rather eat drab food that won't potentially kill me, than potentially dye of asphyxiation so I can eat a red M&M. If that makes me crazy so be it.

    (And kudos to soda companies for sticking with caramel coloring even though it is more expensive than red dye 40!)

    July 1, 2010 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  121. Nancy Graham

    As an adult, I know that I am very sensitive to red dye. If I eat 1 small piece of candy with red dye, or take just 1 sip of a drink with red dye, I know I will be ill for about 24 hours. Plus, I have to take a dye free benedryl every 2 hours, and I will have to cancel all plans for the next day, and that includes taking a day off from my job. I can't sleep, can't read, can't watch TV, or any acitivies sitting down within that 24 hour time period. It is a horrible experience and one that I don't wish on anyone.......except those on this list who don't believe in sensitivity to dyes.

    July 1, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  122. John

    I'm allergic to yellow 5 and yellow 6. Now we find out these dyes may cause cancer. Why does the FDA let us be guinea pigs for chemicals?

    July 1, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  123. H

    Hey idiots,

    If you're allergic to something, AVOID it. I'm allergic to dust mites and pollen, so I take the necessary steps to avoid those things and I use a nasal spray.

    Person who said "cancer isn't an old people disease, I was diagnosed at 33"–you didn't really understand what I said, did you? The longer you are alive, the more opportunity you have to develop cancer. I never, ever said that cancer is only something that old people get–in fact, there are plenty of children with cancer. And of course, cancer is complex in that it has genetic and environmental causes, what we call epigentics. The actual scientific DATA will tell you that there are a few environmental causes that are enormous, proven factors in cancer: obesity, smoking, radiation (especially UV radiation from the SUN). However, the pseudoscience on dyes from this so-called "CSPI" is weak and if these people want it to hold any water, they're going to have to pony up big time on their studies.

    Which brings me to you, Chris. My explanations for autism being blamed on vaccines and cancer's prevalence due to longevity are correlations and also backed by consensus in the scientific community.

    July 1, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cameragirl

      H – you're the idiot. Have you been reading? It's not the cancer risk that many see as the problem, it's the side effects in children. The problem lies in the fat that you can't always avoid it. Read my post concerning medications. We are lucky to live in Germany where I can get German dye-free medications if necessary, but that is not always the case in the States. I am visiting family right now in the US and my daughter has some kind of stomach bug. I went to 4 stores yesterday looking for Pedialyte and medicine without dye in them. I finally found, in the 4th store, CVS brand apple flavored Pedialyte without dye...and never did find any medicine. Even white stuff has blue and yellow dyes in it. Now my child is being denied medications and relief of her symptoms because of this crap. Yes, I'm pissed!

      You will still be able to get your precious red M&Ms and all the other things you feel you "need" if the ban goes through, don't worry.

      July 2, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
  124. Val

    My son has Autism and is sensitive to food coloring and additvtives both in food and airborne. The colored cleaners and air deodorizers polute the air. For you that say stay away from what you are allergic to come live with me and try that with my son. He becomes agressive, the more color the more aggression. Going outside our home is a mission in combat and avoidance of any suspected place that is saturated with airborne color such as your local hospital, school, business etc. It would be wonderful if we could avoid it but the only way is never to leave home. Now would you like to live that way?

    July 2, 2010 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply

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