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Toxic Dyes in Our Kid's Food

04.21.11 Toxic Dyes in Our Kid's Food

food dyes

There has been quite a lot of buzz in the media lately around the dangers of artificial food dyes and preservatives in our food. Particularly, with the effects they have on children and the links to ADHD, allergies and even cancer. Laurie David, producer of the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" and author of "The Family Dinner", has written a recent article in the Huffington Post. In the article, she asks pointedly about the absence of the FDA amidst mounting negative evidence regarding food dyes.

She notes that a recent report from the National Cancer Institute has indicated that between 1992 and 2007, childhood cancer has risen by 9.4%. Instead of taking proactive measures to ban toxic food dyes, the FDA has responded with the usual delay of, "more research."

What's particularly infuriating is that American food manufacturers have already replaced artificial food dyes in products sold overseas because of consumer demand and a specific study, called the Southampton Study. This federal food safety funded study focused on the combination of yellow #5 dye and the preservative sodium benzoate. From the results, a range of companies (including the U.K. branches of Wal-Mart, Kraft, Coca Cola and the Mars candy company, who make M&Ms) voluntarily eliminated synthetic colors and sodium benzoate  and replaced red #40, yellow #6 and blue #1 with natural colorants using beetroot red, annatto and paprika extract. But the U.S. companies kept the cheaper, toxic food dyes for the same products sold in the US! How maddening is that?

David underlines the clear possibility for a safer alternative, "Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-Mart are living proof that it is possible for giant corporations to make and sell kid-friendly, family-friendly, and healthy processed food without necessarily exposing them to a chemical cocktail".

She also sums it up perfectly, "Lets stop poisoning our own kids. Lets start assuming chemicals are dangerous until proven safe, not the other way around".

What are your thoughts?

Download a pdf of the Southampton Study

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