Grocery stores all over the country display a wide array of foods with colorful artificial coloring. Many people don’t think much about artificial coloring in their foods. Artificial food-coloring products have made a big impact in making food look more appetizing, especially to kids. In fact, studies have shown that the rich color artificial dyes bring to food draws more consumers than the flavor itself.
However, studies have suggested that artificial food dyes might cause behavioral problems in children, as well as causing a disruption in their attention. In relation to this, the FDA will soon begin a review on the research that has been done regarding artificial food coloring and its connection to behavioral problems. A recent about-face by the FDA has prompted a review of studies that have been conducted on the affects of artificial dyes on children. The FDA staff recently released a report stating that artificial dyes do affect children’s behavior. The current acknowledgement is an addition to the several significant health risks that artificial food dyes have on humans, most or all of which lead to the possibility of cancer.
As a solution to the need for food color that does not endanger humans, some countries like Britain are turning to natural food coloring in their processed food products. Although natural dyes give less color and are more expensive than artificial ones, natural food colorings are not as harmful to human health. In the U.S., some grocery store companies, such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, take action on this concern by not selling food with artificial food dyes. Companies like Starbucks, have stopped using artificial dyes in its drinks and baked goods. Necco has also stopped using artificial dyes for its very popular candy wafers.
Currently, the FDA has no mandate to ban synthetic food dyes. Until that happens, artificial food coloring remains free to be sold in grocery stores around the country.