Breaking the FDA code about food coloring safety

Message received

I was going to start today by sending you to your kitchen cabinet. But then I thought…I should check mine first.

Here’s the mission: Find the products with food coloring.

Now, I think of myself as a healthy eater. I’m not a health food purist, but I avoid highly processed items and I never eat anything out of a can.

And yet, there they were — I had to look hard to find them but I found them — red 40, yellows 5 & 6, and one label just said, “color added.”

Note to self: Read those labels more carefully!

But just imagine what you’d find in an average home with, say, three elementary-school-age children. You’d likely find a double rainbow of added colors.

For decades, health officials have insisted that these artificial food colorings pose no danger. Their basic message has been: “Don’t worry about a thing! Eat up!”

But it turns out there’s a code in that message. And it’s an admission that food coloring has a clear downside — especially for kids.

Breaking the code

Earlier this year, an FDA food advisory committee decided that no written warnings are needed on products that contain artificial food colorings. But the panel did admit that ADHD problems in “certain susceptible children” might be worsened by food additives, including synthetic food colorings.

In other words, they’re telling us again what they’ve been telling us for years: “Yes, food colorings can create big problems for some kids.

The committee report adds that effects on behavior “appear to be due to a unique intolerance to these substances and not to any inherent neurotoxic properties.”

Give me a BREAK!

Here’s how to decode THAT whopper (which is basically a litigation-blocking gift to Kellogg’s, Kraft, General Mills, etc.): You see, it’s not the additives fault. No no no — it’s the KIDS’ fault — the kids and their “unique intolerance.”

Yes, except for one thing: It’s not all that unique.

Fifty years ago, pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Feingold began research that eventually revealed a strong link between food additives (colorings, flavors, etc.) and behavioral problems in certain children and adults.

And although Dr. Feingold has been belittled by the mainstream for decades, here’s the FDA, once again, confirming results he first told us about in the 60s!

These results are no surprise to Dr. Spreen who has followed Dr. Feingold’s research for years and has seen similar dramatic improvements with his own young patients.

Dr. Spreen: “The results from artificial food colorings were never in doubt. If labels were required to use the proper term for ‘artificial food colors’, i.e., ‘diluted industrial dyes’, a lot fewer people would be using them.”

Moms…Dads…Grandparents…I hope you’re getting all this. Don’t be distracted by the primary decision of the FDA food advisory committee. Read between the lines. That’s where you’ll find the useful information and the true warning.

“Background Document for the Food Advisory Committee: Certified Color Additives in Food and Possible Association with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children” FDA, March 30-31, 2011,

“F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings” Gardiner Harris, New York Times. 3/29/11,

“Artificial Dye Safe to Eat, Panel Says” Gardiner Harris, New York Times, 3/31/11,

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