Tell the FDA to Ban Artificial Dyes in Consumer Products

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When I was 14, I experienced shooting pain and a tingling sensation in my left wrist. Through MRI scans and nerve conduction studies, I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve in the wrist. According to a study performed by the University of Erlangen Medical Center in Germany, 76% of all patients become symptomatic between the age of 40-70 years [1]. Although carpal tunnel syndrome is not uncommon in adults, it is quite rare in children [2].

Soon after my diagnosis, I experientially verified that artificial yellow food dye (FD&C Yellow #5) was the cause of my symptoms.

FD&C Yellow #5 (Tartrazine) is an artificial dye derived from petroleum. Not only is it linked to nerve damage, it can also cause allergic reactions such as asthma, general weakness and blurred vision [3]. 6 out of 11 studies regarding Yellow #5 showed genotoxicity [4]. Furthermore, Yellow #5 may be contaminated by benzidine, a confirmed human carcinogen [5].

Despite all these health risks, Yellow #5 is still widely used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics.  Although the FDA requires that manufacturers indicate the use of Yellow #5 in products, there are no requirements to warn about its possible adverse side effects.

Other artificial food dyes pose similar health hazards (including tumors and hypersensitivity) [6]. These dyes do not provide any nutritional benefit. Such dangerous ingredients should not be allowed in our food.

European countries have already recognized and published warnings about the dangers of artificial dyes. Concerned about the health of their citizens, these countries have taken steps to eliminate artificial dyes from their products.

The pressing battle for our collective health is imperative to address. How many people need to suffer from the hazardous effects before the FDA finally bans artificial dye in consumer products?

Please sign and share this petition to support the fight against harmful color additives.