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Environment

Group Urges FDA To Ban Artificial Food Dyes

June 9, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 23

The consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition with FDA on June 3, urging the agency to ban eight commonly used artificial food colorings. The dyes have been suspected of worsening behavioral conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in sensitive children since the 1970s, the petition notes. Two recent studies funded by the British government have “breathed new life into this issue,” Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, said at a briefing. The studies showed modest behavioral effects in children exposed to a food preservative and several artificial dyes, and triggered the British government to urge food manufacturers to switch to natural colorings. FDA maintains its position that there is no evidence that food color additives cause hyperactivity or learning disabilities in children.

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