Saturday, January 31, 2009

Watchdog Group Wants Ban on Yellow 5, Red 40, and Other Artificial Food Dyes Linked to Hyperactivity, Behavior Problems

WASHINGTON—The Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking America's parents for help in its campaign to convince the Food and Drug Administration that synthetic dyes, such as Yellow 5 and Red 40, don't belong in foods, especially those consumed by children. The dyes are being phased out in European countries because of important new evidence showing that the dyes, and perhaps the preservative sodium benzoate, cause hyperactivity and other behavior problems in children.

CSPI is urging parents who believe their children are harmed by food dyes to file reports online at The nonprofit nutrition and food-safety watchdog group will periodically forward the reports to the FDA, which denies that dyes cause any problem whatsoever. CSPI wants to hear from parents who believe that food dyes impair their children's behavior, as well as parents whose kids' behavior improved when food dyes were eliminated from their diets.

"Considering the problems that have been demonstrated with these dyes, along with the fact that they are easily replaced with natural colorings, it's sad that the FDA is doing nothing to get them out of food," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "Meanwhile, doctors are prescribing powerful drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to undo the damage being done, in part, by the increasingly unnatural food supply."

Consumption of food dyes has increased five-fold over the past 30 years, according to FDA data.