So many foods we eat these days from candies to cereals, popsicles to puddings, contain ingredients such as Yellow #5, Blue #1, and Red #40. In fact, it is quite difficult to find processed foods that do not have one or more of these dyes.
And the dye in our daily life is not limited to food. It's in our beverages, vitamins, medicines, toothpastes, soaps, etc.
Artificial food dyes, chemically synthesized colors, were derived from aniline, a petroleum product that is toxic. They are beleived to be carcinogens and contributors to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Unfortunatelly, still, seven dyes remain on the FDA’s approved list in the United States.
FD&C Blue No. 1 – Brilliant Blue FCF, E133 (blue shade)
FD&C Blue No. 2 – Indigotine, E132 (indigo shade)
FD&C Green No. 3 – Fast Green FCF, E143 (turquoise shade)
FD&C Red No. 3 – Erythrosine, E127 (pink shade, commonly used in glacé cherries)
FD&C Red No. 40 – Allura Red AC, E129 (red shade)
FD&C Yellow No. 5 – Tartrazine, E102 (yellow shade)
FD&C Yellow No. 6 – Sunset Yellow FCF, E110 (orange shade)
Some of these FDA approved colors has already been banned in many European countries.
In 2010, European Union has passed a law requiring all beverages that contain certain artificial colors to carry a warning that consumption of those products may lead to hyperactivity in children.
CSPInet.org: “The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens, says CSPI. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply.”
Mercola.com: “This is why if you eat a Nutri-Grain strawberry cereal bar in the United States, it will contain Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1. But that same bar in the UK contains only the natural colorings beetroot red, annatto and paprika extract. In fact, the UK branches of Wal-Mart, Kraft, Coca-Cola and Mars have removed artificial colors, sodium benzoate and aspartame from their product lines as a result of consumer demand and government recommendations. In the United States, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to allow these toxic ingredients in countless popular foods, including those marketed directly to children.”
So please check labels for artificial food dyes before buying a product or if you can, shop at chains like Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe's, which refuse to sell products with artificial dyes.
Products with the label "made with organic ingredients" may still contain artificial food dyes. Buying 100% certified organic products is an easy way to avoid them.