August 8, 2010

Artificial colors, anyone?

This is the stuff of nightmares!

The FDA offers a nifty “Color Additive Status List” that will open your eyes about those Red Dyes No. Whatever and the plethora of artificial colors you might encounter in foods, drugs, and cosmetics.

Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, color additives, except for coal tar hair dyes, are subject to FDA approval before they may be used in food, drugs, or cosmetics. However, we have become very compacent and trusting about the stuff we swallow, inhale, and smear on our bodies.

The FDA website offers this "interesting" info:
Reactions to color additives are rare. It is possible, but rare, to have an allergic-type reaction to a color additive. For example, FD&C Yellow No. 5 may cause itching and hives in some people. This color additive is widely found in beverages, desserts, processed vegetables, drugs, makeup, and other products. FDA requires all products containing FD&C Yellow No. 5 to identify it on their labels so that consumers who are sensitive to the dye can avoid it. On medicine labels, this certified color additive is also identified by its uncertified name, "tartrazine."

Hmmm. Read their education piece at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048960.pdf