December 1, 2010
Dear Feingold Friends,
We are so excited!! We just had to share this with you right away, so we did not wait for the usual eNews.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finally responding to the 2008 petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), has agreed to hold a hearing on food dyes in March. See the Federal Register announcement dated today.
This hearing is long overdue, but very welcome!
Although Yellow 5, Red 40, and other commonly used food dyes have long been shown in numerous clinical studies to impair children’s behavior, the FDA has continued to dismiss the mounting evidence against the dyes.
According to Dr. Michael Jacobson, CSPI Executive Director, the continued use of synthetic food dyes is hardly worth the risk. "What’s the benefit?" he says. "Junk food that’s even more appealing to children than it already is? Why, when we’re medicating so many children for hyperactivity, would we let food manufacturers worsen some children’s problems? Behavioral problems aside, animal studies indicating that dyes pose a cancer risk provide another reason for banning those chemicals."
Fortunately, a few companies are adopting smarter policies even in the absence of government action. Starbucks does not permit dyes in any of its beverages or pastries, NECCO has switched to safer natural colorings for its famous Wafers, and Frito-Lay is testing dye-free snack foods.
Europe has moved much more quickly to protect children from artificial dyes. The British government has urged companies to stop using most dyes, and the European Union requires a warning notice on most dyed foods. See more. As a consequence, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald’s, and other American companies that do business in Europe use safe, natural colorings over there — but harmful, synthetic petrochemicals over here.
We in the Feingold Association have been working with Dr. Jacobson on this issue, and we plan to be at the FDA’s March meeting. I will fill you in on details as I get them, so that perhaps many of you, too, can make yourselves heard (and maybe seen).
We can optimistically hope that this is finally the beginning of the end of synthetically dyed foods in the United States.
Shula Edelkind, Feingold eNews Editor
Feingold Association of the United States