Author Topic: artificial food coloring...  (Read 1064 times)

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Offline JD Holwick

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artificial food coloring...
« on: April 20, 2012, 07:10:01 PM »
is artificial food coloring really dangerous?  my instinct is "no" but i hate to go with my gut.  my mother was recently telling me of the horrors of red food dye in particular and would love to get some intelligent input on this that i could perhaps share with her.  ---  jd
"what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." ~ christopher hitchens

Offline Caffiene

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Re: artificial food coloring...
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 08:18:50 PM »
Artificial food dye is generally a petroleum product. Red appears to be most commonly a salt called Allura Red AC that is indeed a petroleum product. As far as I can tell there are some minor concerns that consuming multiple artificial colourings, with Allura Red AC included, might cause some sort of increase in hyperactivity in kids - but studies into hyperactivity are also quite often unreliable (or at least the conclusions are) because there are a lot of confounding factors (for example - bright colours can be visually stimulating regardless of the chemical used to produce the colour; less healthy junk foods are more likely to use a lot of food colourings, etc).

Some older artificial reds might have problems. Amaranth, for example, has been linked to an increase in cancer in female rats when given in high dosages. But most of these older reds are uncommon, and often banned depending where you live (Amaranth is banned by the FDA in the US).

I cant find any major health problems associated with common artificial food dyes. The main thing to keep an eye on, if its something that is important to you, is that production from petroleum isnt great for the environment.

Non-artificial red dye, of course, is made from Cochineal Insects. :)
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Offline JD Holwick

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Re: artificial food coloring...
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 10:47:15 PM »
thanks much for this very thorough response.  this information is very helpful and offers me a good base for further research.  thanks again!  ---  jd
"what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." ~ christopher hitchens

 

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