Tasty Technicolor Diabetes

Fun With Food Coloring

Image by seanmcgrath via Flickr

This comes down to a few things.

First, the science is in folks. And Lord Ganesh, ruler of the Science, hath proclaimed there is no definitive link between hyperactivity and artificial food dyes in children. The best science available suggests in some studies that some artificial dyes might cause behavioral changes in some children.

Despite anecdotal claims by parents, removing food dyes from a child’s diet does not provably affect a child’s behavior.  If you’re still fighting that battle, the rest of this won’t matter to you, so kindly move along. Let’s remember parents, anecdotally speaking, dishes cleaned by earth-friendlier dish soaps aren’t clean because they don’t obliterate hard water mineral stains with harsh chemicals. Anecdotes have no place here.

But, what about a better-safe-than-sorry approach.  Who cares if it doesn’t cause hyperactivity.  There’s worse problems at hand.

In 1950, many children became ill after eating Halloween candy containing Orange No. 1 dye, and the F.D.A. banned it after more rigorous testing suggested that it was toxic. In 1976, the agency banned Red No. 2 because it was suspected to be carcinogenic. It was then replaced by Red No. 40.

Many of the artificial colorings used today were approved by the F.D.A. in 1931, including Blue No. 1, Yellow No. 5 and Red No. 3. Artificial dyes were developed — just as aspirin was — from coal tar, but are now made from petroleum products.

Mmmm, sweet tasty petrochemicals. 

So, when the FDA concludes its two-day review of these food dyes, maybe they can offer a ruling in line with that approach.  These dyes won’t unilaterally disappear from these or any hearings.  However, some appropriate labeling like “these dyes are made with the same chemicals plastics, so eat up. By the way, that means petroleum is in these dyes”. 

Or something like that. Enjoy.

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One Response to Tasty Technicolor Diabetes

  1. Pingback: After a lengthy inquiry (of 1 day), food dyes are safe (By FDA) | euzicasa

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