Food dyes linked to cancer: Report


QMI Agency
July 19, 2010

Many artificial food dyes that colour everything from breakfast cereal to ice cream should be banned because they pose cancer risks, a new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest says.

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“These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behaviour problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, co-author of the report, Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks.

Manufacturers worldwide each year use about seven million kilograms of artificial colours in common prepared foods like cookies, candy, pop and ice cream.

The three most widely used food dyes —Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 — are known to be contaminated with carcinogens, the Washington-based health watchdog organization said.

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