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May 8, 2007

Artificial Food Colouring Warning

Topics: Nutrition and Cancer

In one of those moments that leave you wondering "what took them so long," parents in the UK are being advised by experts not to give their children food containing certain additives until the results of a new study are published. UK researchers tested the effects of a range of artificial colorings on children's behavior. The report is understood to back previous research linking food additives to hyperactivity and poor concentration in children.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it would not issue formal recommendations until the findings were published.

But independent experts said parents should avoid foodstuffs containing the additives.

But independent experts said parents should avoid foodstuffs containing the additives.

A team at the University of Southampton tested the additives tartraxine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), quinoline yellow (E104) and allura red AC (E129) on both three-year olds and eight-to-nine year olds.

... All the additives tested in the study are approved for use in the EU and are safe but some of the colours are banned in Scandinavian countries and the US.

As an example of why I call this story a "what took them so long" moment, Tartrazine - also known as FD&C Yellow #5, has been suspected as the cause of many reactions, including urticaria/angioedema, asthma, atopic dermatitis and other diseases since at least 1994. Aspirin-sensitive asthmatics are known to be especially sensitive to tartrazine. And tartrazine is just one of the additives on the UK hit list.

According to SixWise.com, in the United States more than 3,000 substances can be added to foods for the purpose of preservation, coloring, texture, increasing flavor and more. Although these substances are legal to use in the U.S., whether or not they are all something you want to be consuming is another story all together. To this regard, readers concerned with their health and that of their children will find "12 Dangerous Food Additives" alarmingly informative.

Related: Thought for Food - The Contamination of the American Food Supply

Posted by Richard at May 8, 2007 8:33 PM

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