Friday, April 01, 2011

FDA panel shuns need for food coloring warning

An expert advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that there was not enough scientific evidence linking artificial colors with hyperactivity to warrant a warning label or new restrictions on thousands of processed foods colored by chemicals.The 14-member panel struggled with the question, rejecting the idea of warning labels by a margin of 8 to 6. The panel recommendation makes it less likely that the FDA will place restrictions on food dyes. The agency is not obligated to follow the guidance of its advisory panels but often does. Once made from coal tar but now derived from petroleum, artificial dyes are brighter, more stable and cheaper than natural colors derived from fruits and vegetables.

The British government urged food makers to stop using six dyes, and the European Parliament required foods with those dyes to carry a label warning. To avoid warning labels on their products in Europe, many food makers — including U.S.-based companies such as Kellogg and Mars International — found substitutes for the six dyes, including natural dyes made from fruits and vegetables.

Steve - sooner or later, artificial dyes and flavors will be removed from our food supply. Most likely, it will occur because the consumer will shun products that contain them. Eventually, the data will grow to a degree that the FDA will have no choice but to add a warning.

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