Ban on Synthetic Food Dyes

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Ban Synthetic Food Dyes


Stores are stacked with various foods and snacks and everyday people buy them to consume, but there is a big problem that goes unnoticed. The colorful foods we consume have synthetic food dyes that give foods distinctive colors. Although the colors are very attractive and pleasing to the eye this artificial coloring is harmful to our bodies. They can cause different health problems from cancer to brain defects, such as ADHD or other mental health problems. Synthetic food dyes are found in almost everything we consume these days. They can be found in cereals such as Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, and many others; even pharmaceutical drugs contain some artificial coloring. Which is very ironic because they are supposed to cure us not harm us. The FDA should put a ban on these harmful synthetic food dyes.

There are actually a few tests done by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, on these synthetic food dyes. They have come to the conclusion that different colors equate to different health issues. For example, blue 2, also known as “brilliant blue,” has been known to cause kidney tumors in mice. In a recent study published by the medical journal, Lancet, they talked about another common color found in foods, red 40. The study showed that Red 40 increases chances or speeds up the time to develop a tumor and also cause hyperactivity in children. These two dyes are found in a lot of what we consume.

The FDA has chosen to completely ignore this problem. In Europe, the FDA has put a ban, prohibiting companies from putting artificial food coloring in their consumables. There is a policy in Europe called the European Union’s public health protection policy. The policy states, “It is a precautionary measure in which credible evidence of danger to human health warrants protective action despite scientific uncertainty.” What this means is that if there is credible proof that any kind of consumable can harm someone’s health, it must be taken off the shelves or at least come to the public's attention. Companies that do end up putting synthetic food dyes in their products must put a warning on their labels warning the consumers of the possible health problems that will come with consuming the products. McDonald’s in Europe have actually began taking steps to get rid of synthetic food dyes. For example the strawberry sundaes have no artificial food dyes and, instead, get the pink color from real strawberries. This makes the sundaes much healthier and more appealing to consumers. Artificial coloring in foods is an actual problem that should be talked about more in the United States.

The FDA should stop ignoring this problem and finally do something to stop this epidemic. Although big companies see the synthetic food dyes as ways to lure in consumers, there are better alternatives. The FDA should put a ban on synthetic food dyes so the youth of this country can be healthy and so people do not have to worry about what they eat.



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