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California Bill Would Require Warning Labels on Dyed Foods

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

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For far too long, the Food and Drug Administration has failed to protect families from Red 40, Yellow 5, and the other synthetic dyes that color America’s food supply. Considering that some children clearly are adversely affected by dyes and that dyes play only a cosmetic role in food, the FDA should phase them out altogether.

Parents should cheer the effort underway in California, where State Senator Bob Wieckowski is leading the charge to require notices on dyed foods warning of the impact on kids’ behavior, such as “WARNING: Dyes in this food may trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in some children.”  We hope California enacts the sensible and science-based legislation being introduced today.  As long as the FDA is going to remain firmly planted on the sidelines, it makes perfect sense for California and other states to protect kids and their families from synthetic dyes.

Since 2010, the European Union has required most dyed foods to state that they “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).