Food Coloring Ban Update

Back in October 2007, I wrote about the call in Britain for banning certain artificial food coloring additives.  Well, today, the Center for Science in the Public Interest called on the Food and Drug Administration to ban 8 food colorings citing research linking them to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children.  The colorings the center seeks to ban are: Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6.

For a list of food additives and colorings and their associated risks published by the Center, click here.

Below is the text of the article I wrote for our e-newsletter, The Mountain Wave, in October.

Wellness Tip: New Research Confirms Link Between
Food Additives and Hyperactivity

The idea that food additives can cause hyperactivity in children was first proposed by allergy specialist Dr. Benjamin Feingold in 1975. This sparked international inquiry with mixed results. In a new study financed by Britain’s Food Standards Agency and published online by the British medical journal The Lancet researchers have conclusively confirmed this link.

The study focused on a variety of food colorings in combination with sodium benzoate, a common preservative. In the six-week trial, researchers gave a randomly selected group of several hundred 3-year-olds and 8 and 9-year-olds drinks with color additives and sodium benzoate — a mix that mimicked children’s drinks that are commercially available. Their diet was otherwise controlled to avoid other sources of the additives.

A control group was given an additive-free placebo drink that looked and tasted the same.

All of the children were then evaluated for inattention and hyperactivity by parents, teachers and through a computer test. Neither the researchers nor the subject knew which drink any of the children had consumed.

The researchers discovered that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive and that they had shorter attention spans if they had consumed the drink containing the additives.

In response to the study, the Food Standards Agency advised parents to monitor their children’s activity and, if they noted a marked change with food containing additives, to adjust their diets accordingly, eliminating artificial colors and preservatives.

The color additives used were:

Name in UK

Name in U.S.

Sunset Yellow (E110)

Yellow #6

Ponceau 4R (E124)

Banned in U.S.

Carmoisine (E122)

Banned in U.S.

Tartazine (E102)

Yellow #6

Quinoline Yellow (E104)

Banned in U.S.

Allura Red (E129)

Red #4

While some of these color additives are not available in the U.S., its still a call for each of us as consumers to read beyond the marketing on the front of a food label, and read the list of ingredients. One rule of thumb: the shorter the list of ingredients the better. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, think twice about eating or drinking it.

Wikipedia: Sodium Benzoate
Ground-breaking study links food additives to hyperactivity in children Developmental Disorders and Food Additives Some Food Additives Raise Hyperactivity, Study Finds


About Paul Kulpinski, LMT

Paul Kulpinski is a licensed massage therapist, holistic wellness coach and co-founder of Mountain Waves Healing Arts in Flagstaff, Arizona with over 15 years experience in helping people achieve their optimum state of well being. Information contained in this blog should not be taken as medical advice. Readers are advised to validate the information presented here with other sources including your personal physician for information specific to you.
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3 Responses to Food Coloring Ban Update

  1. Cassandra Hale says:

    heh thats odd cause yellow 5 & yellow 6 are in halloween oreos and my 21 month old son had a severe allergic reaction from them….

  2. vijay says:

    Need list e color banned by country wise
    for example I need E131 color banned in Pholippines

  3. Ali Sikander says:

    Dear Sir,
    We are confectionery manufacturer in Pakistan we required banned e color country wise urgent

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