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Cancer from coloring? Scientific research group claims food dye may be carcinogenic and promote allergies

Food dyes

(NaturalNews) An eye-opening report, published by The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), brings forth new evidence on the toxicity of nine synthetic dyes commonly used to color food and beverage products. The report, "Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks", details how food dyes contribute to allergies and hyperactivity in children, while increasing cancer risks. The CSPI is now calling for an outright ban on the dyes, and pressuring the U.S. FDA to do their job and protect the American public from these poisons.

"These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.

Backing him up is National Toxicology Program associate James Huff, "Some dyes have caused cancers in animals, contain cancer-causing contaminants, or have been inadequately tested for cancer or other problems," he states. "Their continued use presents unnecessary risks to humans, especially young children. It's disappointing that the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has not addressed the toxic threat posed by food dyes."

Synthetic food dyes should be banned

Under the law, any food containing synthetic dyes should be considered adulterated, since it would "appear better or of greater value than it is." CSPI states that, under the Delaney amendment, Red 3 and Citrus Red 2 should be banned outright, because they blatantly cause cancer in rats. Since the colors Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are contaminated with a percentage of carcinogenic chemicals, they should be banned under the amendment. Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40 and Yellow 6 could also be banned, because there is not "convincing evidence" of their safety. Some evidence suggests that these colors increase cancer risk in animals.

With over 15 million pounds of these dyes being unleashed into the food supply each year, determinations on their safety and necessity are crucial going forward for the health of the population. It cannot be denied that seven of these food dyes contribute to cancer in lab animals, including colon and testicular cancer, mutations, and even brain cancer in some. One of the most popular and risky dyes, Red 3, is pumped into the food supply at the rate of 200,000 pounds each year, tainting everything from Betty Crocker's Fruit Roll-Ups to ConAgra's Kid Cuisine frozen meals.

Safer, wholesome options for food coloring exist

Safer options for food coloring do exist, and are already being used in the European Union. In the EU, synthetic, petroleum-based dyes are being phased out under a new law that takes effect July 20, 2016. Every product that contains a synthetic dye must be labeled, "May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children." The hope is to pressure companies to begin using the many safe food colorants that come from real food sources.

If it's all about improving the appearance of foods, then wholesome colorants should be used. Blueberry juice concentrate, pumpkin, carrot juice, paprika, turmeric, sweet potato, annatto, red cabbage, grape skin extract and beet juice have all been proven safe and effective for coloring food products.

The differences between U.S. products and the same ones in Europe are telling. In the U.S., a Fanta orange soda is dyed with Red 40 and Yellow 6, but in Britain, that same soda is colored with pumpkin and carrot extract. McDonald's Strawberry Sundaes in the U.S. are tainted with Red dye 40, but in Britain, they are colored with real strawberries. In the U.S., a Kellogg Strawberry NutriGrain bar is synthetically dyed with Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1, but in the UK, beetroot, annatto and paprika extract are used.

To learn more about the science of your food, check out the Health Ranger's new book at FoodForensics.com

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