Are Color Additives Dangerous? (page 2)

Are Color Additives Dangerous?

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Updated on Jun 1, 2012

Should We Avoid All Color Additives?

Some people, in an attempt to protect their health and that of their families, attempt to eat only foods that lack color additives (as well as other food additives). In their minds, these non-natural additives have not been studied deeply enough to ensure their safety, especially in light of the various additives that have been removed from the “safe” list after studies showed that they were unhealthy.

For example, FD&C Red No. 1 was found to be “toxic upon ingestion” due to animal feeding tests, and was subsequently removed from the “safe” list. In these tests, many of the animals being feed with FD&C Red No. 1 were found to have severe liver damage, and some of them died during the course of the study from this damage. Other food colorings were terminated from the list due to studied that showed that it caused cancer in mice or other animals.

What does the FDA say about people who have these concerns? They stress the fact that these food additives are listed on labels for a reason, and that these people can take advantage of that information.

“We appreciate consumers’ concerns about food ingredients,” says Cianci. “Labels provide a variety of information about a food, including its name, ingredients, and nutritional profile. For example, the labeling of any food containing color additives that FDA certifies for food use, such as FD&C Red No. 40 and FD&C Yellow No. 5, must declare those additives by name as ingredients. Labeling is a means of informing consumers who may want to avoid certain substances for health or other reasons of their presence in food. As stated earlier, FDA evaluates scientific data and information to ensure that a color additive is safe for its intended purposes. Any food containing an unapproved color additive would be considered adulterated under U.S. law and would be subject to enforcement action to remove it from commerce.”

No matter what your stance on color additives is, it's important to remember that the less processed and artificial ingredients your food has—especially when it comes to the food your kids are eating—the better. Take note and be sure to read labels together with your kids so you know what you and your family are eating.

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