Food dyes: How concerned are you about foods containing additives and dyes?
Public health advocates agree that food dyes often used in snack foods do not appear to be the underlying cause of hyperactivity, but say that the effects of dyes on some children is cause enough to ban the additives. (M. Spencer Green/Associated Press)
By CBC News
The dyes used to colour foods such as cereal, ketchup and snacks may contribute to hyperactivity in some children, a U.S. advisory committee has heard.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration started a two-day meeting Wednesday to weigh data on the link between dyes and the disorder.
On Thursday, the panel will recommend whether the regulator should change labeling for food additives, request more study, or do nothing.
The FDA has long said the dyes are safe, despite concerns raised in the 1970s by Dr. Ben Feingold, a pediatrician who claimed the colours were linked to hyperactive behaviour.
The U.S. consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest requested the meeting to review research on the effects of additives with the aim of banning Yellow 5, Red 40 and six other dyes.
"Dyes are often used to make junk food more attractive to young children or to simulate the presence of a healthful fruit or other natural ingredient," said Michael Jacobson, the group's director. "Dyes would not be missed in the food supply except by the dye manufacturers."
The advocacy group is urging the FDA to put warning labels, noting a full ban would be difficult.
How concerned are you about dyes in food? Have you noticed any changes in your child's behaviour due to additives or dyes? How often do you, or your children, eat food containing additives and dyes?
(This survey is not scientific. It is based on readers' responses.)
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