Artificial Food Coloring

Artificial Food Coloring

Gary Ginsberg (Toxicologist) gives expert video advice on: How much risk is posed by artificial colors in foods?; Does food coloring cause hyperactivity in children?

How much risk is posed by artificial colors in foods?

Artificial Food Coloring is something that has been quite controversial since the early days when colors started being a tradition to food. One of the issues with it is people don't like it if that issue have been tricked to thinking that the food looks more interesting more exciting or fresher because the colors are added to meat to make them look redder and fresher. But besides the issue of trickery and marketing that colors are used if for example children, the health issues boil down to carcinogen which some of the early food colors were discovered to be cancerous in genetic animals and were banned and some of them were found to be allergetic. So for example there is a certain yellow dye that about 10% of the general public can have allergic reactions to. So there's been a long history with food colors and we now know enough about them to have banned the worst actors. What's left on the market is generally fairly well-known to be much safer and not a big health risk. The lingering concern is that there are, again, certain people who are allergic to yellow food dye that is the approved food dye in this planet, it does have to be labeled that it does contain it. So people who are allergic to usually know it and are looking at labels to try to avoid that particular food coloring.

Does food coloring cause hyperactivity in children?

Hyperactivity in children was something that was a theoretical concern between food…Well, from a couple of angles, both the amount of sugar in the diet as well as the amount of food color in the diet and during the 1960s there's got a lot of media attention, there were a couple of studies that linked food colors and Hyperactivity or tension deficit types of problems in children. Those studies haven't really been substantiated as being proven cause-and-effect. There is a recommendation that if you have a Hyperactive child that really does not a lot of good control for that you might think about less sugar in the diet and less food coloring in the diet just to rule those things out. But there's really no prove in cause-and-effect.