Choose organics to avoid artificial dyes, pesticides linked to ADHD

Thursday, April 14, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: food dyes, ADHD, health news

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(NaturalNews) The US food supply is riddled with petroleum-based, artificial food dyes and synthetic chemical pesticides, both of which have been linked to causing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral problems in children. So in order to avoid them, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is urging parents to shop certified organic, as this is the only food category that is designed to be free of these harmful toxins.

A 2007 study conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK is what initially prompted a review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into the safety of artificial food colors and pesticides. That study found a direct correlation between consumption of artificial additives and a spike in ADHD rates among children (

In 2008, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) also petitioned the FDA to ban nine specific color additives used in the UK study that were linked to causing problems. Though CSPI has not always shown favor to the natural health industry, including in 2010 when the organization made proposals that threatened freedom of health speech (, its efforts to eliminate harmful food dyes are noteworthy.

Another study published in the journal Pediatrics found that exposure to common organophosphate pesticides at typical levels is associated with higher levels of ADHD in children ( This study prompted the 2010 US President's Cancer Panel Report to make suggestions that consumers avoid conventional foods and choose only those grown without the use of chemical pesticides, growth hormones, and other synthetic additives.

"Organic food production and processing represent the only system that uses certification and inspection to verify that synthetic food dyes and chemicals are not used," said Christine Bushway, OTA's Executive Director and CEO. "Those seeking to minimize their exposure to these chemicals can look for the USDA Organic label wherever they buy food."

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