Warning: Artificial Food Dyes May Be Linked to Hyperactivity

A new study by the US government suggests that artificial food dyes, while not a cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, may worsen the condition in some children. While the food industry insists that “the safety of artificial colors has been affirmed through extensive review,” an FDA panel will vote next week on whether foods containing artificial coloring should carry warning labels (KSPR).

The Washington Post reports, “Two recent studies sponsored by the British government found that children given foods made with some artificial dyes and a food preservative, sodium benzoate, showed an increase in hyperactivity. The study sampled children in the general population, not just those known to show hyperactive behavior. The studies remain controversial, with some scientists skeptical about the links that can be drawn.”

Despite the inconclusiveness of such studies, some food manufacturers have begun to replace artificial dyes with natural ones, substituting Red No. 40, for example, with beet juice and carrots, in order to avoid having to put warning labels on their products. Click here to read the entire article.

[Photo by Tim Lindenbaum]

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