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FDA To Take Closer Look At Alleged Links Between Synthetic Food Dyes And Hyperactivity In Kids

December 2, 2010: 06:54 PM EST

Following the example of European Union and British government food regulators, the U.S. FDA has decided to take a closer look at claims that artificial food colors may be harmful to children after all. The agency has scheduled a hearing in March 2011 to examine evidence linking artificial food colors and hyperactivity in children. However, with food companies using 15 million pounds of synthetic food dyes each year in a wide range of products, the suggestion that they switch to natural dyes, or even place warning labels on foods, is giving the companies indigestion. Nevertheless, the British government and the European Union have provided a precedent for getting companies to eliminate possibly harmful dyes. While the U.S. version of McDonald’s Strawberry Sundaes contain Red 40, the British version uses strawberry extract.

Melanie Warner, "Why Food Companies Should Stop Using Tongue-Staining Artificial Colors", BNET, December 02, 2010, © CBS Interactive
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