Food Coloring Warnings

Today’s NYTimes features an article on the emerging evidence showing that artificial food coloring is bad for your children, worsening hyperactivity.

After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children…

…In a concluding report, staff scientists from the F.D.A. wrote that while typical children might be unaffected by the dyes, those with behavioral disorders might have their conditions “exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.”

Renee Shutters, a mother of two from Jamestown, N.Y., said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that two years ago, her son Trenton, then 5, was having serious behavioral problems at school until she eliminated artificial food colorings from his diet. “I know for sure I found the root cause of this one because you can turn it on and off like a switch,” Ms. Shutters said.

I think that if you’re a consumer, and we all are, and if we have a choice to minimize the unnecessary synthetic chemicals that go into our bodies and our childrens’ bodies, then it’s a no-brainer. Michael Pollan said it best: “don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” and “don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients.”

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