Food Additives to Dye For

16 Feb

This week the CSPI (Center For Science In the Public Interest) announced that studies have shown chemicals, which are commonly used in soda and other foods, have been proven to cause cancer in animals.  Specifically pointing to caramel food coloring as the dangerous culprit.

Some experts worry the chemicals could pose a similar risk in people.

Pepsi, Coca-Cola Co. and the American Beverage Association claim that the chemicals are safe for human consumption.  Still, a leading consumer group is pushing the FDA to ban caramel food coloring chemicals because of concerns they could cause cancer in people.

You may remember the efforts top cola companies have made to offer clear drinks, free of any dyes.  Unfortunately, the bottom line was.. the bottom line.  Consumers spoke a resounding “no” to buying clear soda that they were accustomed to being dyed caramel.

What is caramel coloring?

First of all, artificial caramel coloring is quite different from real caramel.

While pure caramel is made by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown coloring used in some colas is made by reacting sugars, ammonia and sulphites under high temperatures and pressure.

Still, it is important to remember that over-processing any food can create an unhealthy product.

The Wellness Directory of Minnesota reports, “Caramel coloring is burnt sugar.  Ask any biologist about burnt sugar, and he will tell you that it is a carcinogen (cancer causing).  Additionally, scientists have used caramel coloring in lab experiments on mice to interfere with leukocyte action (white cells).  In other words, caramel coloring is immuno-suppressive.  The FDA knows this and insures that anything containing caramel coloring must note this on the label.  Just luckily, this immuno-suppressive property of caramel coloring drops away when you quit ingesting it.”

Prominent experts on animal carcinogenesis, including several who have worked at the National Toxicology Program, joined in calling on the FDA to bar the use of caramel colorings made with the ammonia process.  “The American public should not be exposed to any cancer risk whatsoever as a result of consuming such chemicals,” the scientists wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

Beyond the dangers of caramel coloring, the CSPI has also been urging the FDA to ban synthetic food colorings, such as Yellow 5 and Red 40.  Those dyes cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children, and Red 3 and Yellows 5 and 6 pose cancer risks, according to CSPI.

In understanding that cancer has been caused in the lab with this caramel coloring agent, it is important to remember that large doses were given in animal testing.  So far, the FDA has not agreed that the caramel coloring used in cola, beer and soy sauce can be dangerous to humans but that is based on average consumption in small doses.

One Response to “Food Additives to Dye For”


  1. Tweets that mention Food Additives to Dye For « -- - February 16, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lynnivere, Lynn Van Noy LMT CH. Lynn Van Noy LMT CH said: WELL BEING: Food Additives to Dye For […]


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