Food Dye Dangers: A 'Rainbow of Risks'


SkittlesColorful food is fun and festive, but also potentially dangerous if it achieves its hue artificially through food dyes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently released a report that says food dyes pose a "rainbow of risks" including everything from allergies to cancer.

According to CSPI, use of the dyes has increased five-fold since 1955. They are in everything from candy and salad dressing to juice and cereals.

But they don't have to be.

“These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force the industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals.”

CSPI has asked the FDA to ban all dyes "because the scientific studies do not provide convincing evidence of safety, but do provide significant evidence of harm." 

If there's any chance of a food dye increasing cancer, then I'm all for more boring looking food. Get it out of there! There are also natural colorings that can be used instead.

Yet another reminder that avoiding processed foods and sticking to natural, whole foods -- that happen to come in beautiful array of colors -- is the safest way to go.

Do you want to see the FDA ban food dyes?

Image via *Mickey/Flicker


food, food safety


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nonmember avatar rachel

Ahh this is nice to read. We have some rainbow popsicles in the freezer and now i'm scared of cancer or my son getting some mental health problem lol. Everything seems to cause cancer these days. Putting these opinions aside, I havent exactly heard anything good about food dye, so banning them and using natural dyes from let's say beets, wouldnt be a problem for me at all. I try to avoid crazy artifically colored foods anyway. Well, putting aside those popsicles.

Julie... Julieryanevans

i know, I love my frozen m&ms and now just keep looking at them with dread.

Adria... AdrianaCooks

I love that this post follows the other post on colorful vegetables. Two different ways to get color in your food--one possibly dangerous, the other super healthy! One pretty cheap (unless you consider the medical bills later on) the other kind of pricey (unless you consider the medical costs you save by eating lots of vegetables).

diospira diospira

We have always banned artificial food colorings at our house, and if you are a label reader you will know they are ubiquitous, even in foods you might not suspect have them. Marshmallows are impossible to find without blue coloring (check the label), unless you go to a health food store, where of course they cost a lot more.

The use of these dangerous dyes has gotten out of hand, and I vote with my wallet. I have found whatever I really need with natural colorings and am willing to pay more and use less of them. 



tonya... tonyalynn

i didnt know this

Xynyth Xynyth

Food dyes have been banned in our house for about 2 years now. Once we saw the effect it had on our oldest DD. It really is in everything, even yogurt. Tell me why on earth yogurt needs dying??

tazdvl tazdvl


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