Commonly used food dyes, such as Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, and Red 40, pose risks including hyperactivity in children. Some also pose a risk of cancer (like Red 3) and allergic reactions.
In 2008, because of the link with hyperactivity and related behavioral problems, the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA to ban the use of these dyes. The British government and the European Union have taken actions that are virtually ending the use of most food dyes throughout Europe.
Considering the adverse impact of these chemicals on children, and considering how easily they can be replaced with safe, natural ingredients, it's time to get rid of them altogether from the United States and Canada.
Is your child sensitive to food dyes?
- Seeing Red: Time for Action on Food Dyes (January 2016)
- Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks (June 2010)
- Diet, ADHD & Behavior: A Quarter-Century Review (updated 2009)
- Change.org petition: Tell the FDA to Ban Harmful Synthetic Food Dyes
- Change.org petition: Crayola, Stop Telling Kids to "Color Their Mouth" with Fake Dyed Candies
- Change.org food dyes movement page
- Press releases, statements, and other resources
- Fact Sheet: A Time to Act On Food Dyes
- Fact Sheet: Food Dyes linked with Impacts on Children's Behavior fact
- Fact Sheet: Synthetic Food Dyes in School Food
- Fact Sheet: California OEHHA's Synthetic Food Dyes Report
- Are unexpected food dyes hiding in your holiday treats?
- Five tips to avoid "tricky treats" this Halloween
- CSPI petition to FDA to require front of label disclosure of artificial colorings (December 2011)
- CSPI petition to FDA to ban food dyes (June 2008)
The harmful effects of artificial food dyes impact real children and their parents. Read first-hand accounts from these families here or click one of the videos below to hear their stories.