For decades, some scientists and consumer advocates have believed there’s a possible link between the consumption of artificial food dyes and hyperactivity, at least in some children. If that’s true, there’s serious cause for concern: as recounted in a recent Washington Post op-ed on the subject, there’s been a five-fold increase in the per-capita production of food dyes over the past 50 years.
Finally, after a long history of affirming the safety of artificial dyes, the Food and Drug Administration has agreed to hold hearings on the subject, which begin today. (You can read more about the hearings in today’s New York Times, here.)
Whatever you think of the validity of these concerns, one thing is clear. American manufacturers already know how to make colorful food products without reliance on petroleum-based dyes. And how do we know this? Because they’re already doing so in European countries where the regulation of food dyes is far stricter than in the United States.
A little later today I’ll share a guest blog post from Robyn McCord O’Brien on this subject, and I’ll also be giving away to Lunch Tray readers three free copies of Robyn’s thought-provoking book, The Unhealthy Truth.