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FDA Panel Examines Possible Links Between Food Dyes, ADHD
Date:3/30/2011

s long lobbied for a ban on the dyes -- said that "the evidence that artificial food dyes worsen some children's behavior is pretty convincing."

Cronin hopes the FDA panel will recommend warning labels on foods with these additives, and encourage companies to switch to safer colorings.

Given the studies that have been done so far, Schab said that he is also in favor of getting these artificial colorings out of foods.

"Because dyes are unnecessary and they do appear to have some risk, even if that risk is limited to a few people, they should be removed," Schab believes. "The behavioral risks are real," he said.

"I would like the FDA to eliminate dyes, but I would also be very happy if we would have a label warning, like the ones that protect Europeans," Schab added. "Labels that warn that these dyes have potential detrimental effects on behavior."

Based on its review of published studies, the FDA at this point says that "a causal relationship between exposure to color additives and hyperactivity in children in the general population has not been established."

However, it goes on to say that for some children with ADHD and other behavioral problems, these dyes may exacerbate their problems. But dyes may not be the only food additive that has this effect, the FDA notes.

On the other side of the debate, Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, contended that "the safety of artificial colors has been affirmed through extensive review by the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority, and neither agency sees the need to change current policy."

Kennedy added that "All of the major safety bodies globally have reviewed the available science and have determined that there is no demonstrable link between artificial food colors and hyperactivity among children."

And another industry voice said that food aesthetics matter to American consumers, too.

In a statement, David Schmidt, pr
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