Are Artificial Colors Really Harmless?

We at had previously brought you some information and our thoughts about artificial

sweeteners, but one ingredient (or ingredients) that seems to somewhat take a backseat in the popular

eye is artificial coloring. From beverages and cookies, to candy and snacks, it’s hard to go a day without

running into at least one artificial color.

Some of the most popular of the artificial colors in food are Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 (of course there’s

many more), but another, Red 3, has actually been acknowledged for years by the FDA as a carcinogen

(any substance that is directly involved in causing cancer). Incidentally, in many European countries it

is required that any food product containing these dyes carry a warning label. This has caused many

Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) members to switch from using artificial colors to their natural

counterparts in the products they sell to Europe.

But what makes these dyes so terrible?

• Being artificial, they had to have been made by man in a lab somewhere, and one of the raw

ingredients used to make these dyes is petroleum.

• A 2007 study performed by the United Kingdom’s Food Standard Agency showed that children

who ate foods containing these dyes could increase their risk for hyperactive behavior.

• Artificial colors add no nutritional value to foods. They are there solely to make foods more

appealing. This can be a major drawback, especially with children, because they are more likely

to be enticed by the pretty colors of junk foods over some of the more healthy options.

• As stated above, these dyes have been linked to cancer.

If the European countries recognize the dangers of these dyes, why is it taking so long for the FDA to

catch on here in America? Granted they have banned some, but that still doesn’t change the fact that

they’re continuing to allow the other ones to potentially harm people.

If you’re as concerned about your health as we here are, be sure to read the labels of all the foods you

buy. You may find a few unexpected, and unwanted, ingredients

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