Do you feed your child Froot Loops and other foods containing coloring and dyes? Then, you NEED to read the rest of this article. We’ve always been told that food coloring is harmless and that it just makes foods look more appealing. But, in fact, it is a harmful poison that has the potential to damage your child in various ways, from neurological issues to cancer. These accusations come from a new research report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit consumer watchdog organization.
What You Should Know
The report, Food Dye – A Rainbow of Risks, reviews the risks that are already commonly associated with food dye consumption: Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 have been known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Tests on lab animals of Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 showed signs of causing cancer. Yellow 5 also caused mutations, an indication of possible carcinogenicity, in 6 of 11 tests. FDA tests show that the three most-widely used dyes; Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are tainted with low levels of cancer-causing compounds. Furthermore, many studies have indicated that food coloring causes hyperactivity in children. The report urges the government to ban all food coloring since none of the dyes have been proven completely safe.
The Facts about Food Coloring
Food coloring is not a necessary ingredient to any foods and it has no nutritional value. People began using it when they realized that colorful foods are more attractive to consumers. Food dyes used to be made from natural sources like beet juice for red and turmeric for yellow. Then, producers decided to start using cheaper, artificial dyes in order to save money and maximize profit. Food dyes exist not only in candy, but in so many different types of edible products that it’s hard to keep track. The amount of food coloring ingested by kids has increased dramatically over the years.
Why is it Still Used?
The FDA still allows the use of food coloring because the evidence of risks is not sufficient enough. In other developed countries, like Europe, additives are approved after they have been proven safe. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in America where these additives are not taken off the market until proven unsafe. Shouldn’t we take more precaution when it comes to raising the risks of cancer in American children? Beginning July 20, the European Union will be requiring all foods containing dyes to add a warning label illuminating the risks. Maybe this practice will urge the U.S. to get on board.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Kids
Next time you’re in the supermarket, take a look at the ingredients listed in cereals, snacks, salad dressing, soups, cakes and any other processed product. If it has food coloring in it, move on to another less harmful product. Beware of processed foods and drinks that are very colorful and bright. Try healthy specialty stores to find colorful products that are appealing, yet safer for your kids. These products use natural alternatives to food dyes, such as beta-carotene, blueberry juice concentrate, carrot juice, grape skin extract, paprika, purple sweet potato or corn, and red cabbage. Also consider using these alternatives the next time you think to add a drop of color to your freshly baked goods.