A consumer advocacy group called on the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday to ban the use of eight artificial colorings in food because they have been linked to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children.
Dyes are used in countless foods and are sometimes used to simulate the color of fruits or vegetables.
The additives are particularly prevalent in the cereals, candies, sodas, and snack foods pitched to children.
The purpose of these chemicals is often to mask the absence of real food, to increase the appeal of a low-nutrition product to children, or both,” said the center’s executive director, Michael F. Jacobson.
Controlled studies conducted over three decades have shown that children’s behavior can be worsened by some artificial dyes.
The center’s petition asks the FDA to require a warning label on foods with artificial dyes while it mulls the group’s request to ban the dyes outright.
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