Wednesday, March 30, 2011

F.D.A. Hearing on Artificial Colors Starts Today

Artificial colorants in food and medicine are absolutely unnecessary. Petroleum-based, these dyes are purely aesthetic, meant to appeal to our innate attraction to brighter foods. (Most fruits and vegetables brighten as they ripen.)

Many believe there is a link between these dyes and ADHD. Since 1976, the Feingold Association has been helping families understand and avoid artificial colors and other preservatives. Like so many other topics discussed here, awareness is the first step in educating oneself.

Undoubtedly, there will soon be more awareness about artificial colors, thanks to a two-day Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) hearing that starts today. In addition, there’s a story on the front page of today’s New York Times (with three Froot Loops interspersed in the copy!) discussing the hearing and artificial colors in general.

(UPDATE: As of 2:00 p.m., "F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings" is the most e-mailed article on the Times website.)

Remember, artificial colors aren't just in obvious junk food. Dannon Light & Fit blueberry yogurt contains blue 1 and red 40!

Click here to read the entire article, but here are the first three paragraphs:

"After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children.

"The Food and Drug Administration concluded long ago that there was no definitive link between the colorings and behavior or health problems, and the agency is unlikely to change its mind any time soon. But on Wednesday and Thursday, the F.D.A. will ask a panel of experts to review the evidence and advise on possible policy changes, which could include warning labels on food.

"The hearings signal that the growing list of studies suggesting a link between artificial colorings and behavioral changes in children has at least gotten regulators’ attention — and, for consumer advocates, that in itself is a victory."

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