A consumer advocacy group called on the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday to ban the use of eight artificial colorings in food because the additives may cause hyperactivity and behavior problems in some children.
Maybe that doesn’t mean much to you, but as the parent of kid who is sensitive to food dyes, this means so much.
I know I’ve talked about this before, but I’m not sure people understand just how pervasive food dyes are. Virtually every mass-marketed product aimed at children has food dyes in it. Every fun, junky cereal with a prize in it. Every ice cream that isn’t chocolate or vanilla. Candy, popsicles, birthday cakes — even some brands of yogurt and macaroni and cheese — all off-limits for my kid. Even over-the-counter medications have it. When she’s sick, my kid has to swig down a massive amount of nasty-tasting liquid baby Tylenol, simply because it’s the only dye-free version available.
Every time my kid tells someone she can’t have food with dye because it makes her “crazy,” or when I offer her a safe red food — like a strawberry — and she still asks me if it has red dye in it, I just want to cry. I know there are plenty of kids in the world with more pressing problems than this, but those kids aren’t my kid, and all I want is for my kid to be able to eat whatever she wants.
The British government is already successfully getting food manufacturers to remove all food dyes… so why can’t we do that here?