Even though the FDA insists that food dyes are safe the studies say otherwise. Artificial food dyes do contribute to ADHD symptoms such as restlessness and hyperactivity and if food dyes were taken out of the diet, a large percentage of children would not need ADHD prescription drugs such as Concerta or Ritalin.
Food dye ADHD additives that cause reactions are Carmoisine, Tartrazine, Ponceau, Sunset Yellow, Carmoisine, Quinoline Yellow, and Allura Red. For instance Sunset Yellow (also known as Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow) has been known for inducing allergic reactions. It can be found in many products such as any orange, apricot or citrus jam or jellies, marzipan, hot chocolate mix, packaged soup mixes, breadcrumbs, cheese sauces and soft drinks and many other products that are yellow, orange, and red.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest would like the FDA to ban eight (Yellow 5 and 6, Red 3 and 40, Blue 1 and 2, Green 3, and Orange B) of the most common artificial dyes, or at least affix a warning label to products that contain the dyes such as “Warning: The artificial coloring in this food causes hyperactivity and behavioral problems in some children.” And, did you know that food companies are, as we speak, phasing out dyes in foods in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe? At McDonald’s in the UK the strawberry syrup on a sundae is a red color from strawberries and in the US; the red color comes not from strawberries but a coal-derived chemical also known by the name, Red 40. That is insane!
Let’s face it our kids love color and that is the only reason that children’s snack food and cereals all contain the food dyes. But the color is only for appeal; too attract the child to want it, it holds no nutritional value. Even if your child does not have food dye ADHD allergies then why expose them to harmful chemicals such as these?
We all need to focus on nutritionally sound meals at home, in schools and at restaurants but we need everyone’s help to let the companies know we do not want or need the artificial chemicals to make our food look better.