Artificial colors are being added to a mind-blowing amount of food and other products to help create an aesthetically-pleasing color. While some of the coloring is created from beets or flowers, others are created chemically in a lab.
What are Artificial Colors?
Exempt Color Additives (aka “natural artificial colors”) are derived from plant, animal or mineral sources which have been processed in some way.
Examples of some Exempt Color Additives include vegetable juice and spices like paprika, turmeric and saffron. When these colors are in your products, they are not required to be specifically labeled and can be simply called, Artificial Coloring, Artificial Color Added, or Color Added.
Certifiable Color Additives (aka “artificial colors”) are derived from petroleum distillates or coal tars and are essentially synthetic chemicals created in laboratories. These 7 artificial colors are required to be specifically labeled on products and will read as Blue # 1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6. (Other acceptable ways for the label to read is simply “Red 40”)
It’s important to understand the “FD&C” on a label. In FD&C Red Dye #40, the “F” stands for food, the “D” stands for drugs and the “C” stands for cosmetics. If you see D&C Red Dye #3, that means it’s not approved for our food. So why would you ingest it with medicine?
Artificial colors are added in almost all our foods from dairy and cereal products to dressings, cakes, cookies, chips and beverages. It’s also added into our medicines and even vitamins. So make sure to read your labels!
The hidden dangers of Certifiable Color Additives
Blue #2 may cause asthma.
Green #3 has caused growth inhibition in rats. It’s prohibited in the European Union and other countries in food.
Those who have asthma and are allergic to aspirin have a high chance of being intolerant to Yellow #5. The side effects of this blend can include itching, hives, anxiety, headache, depression, blurred vision, rash, weakness, heat waves, runny nose, and sleep disturbances.
In children, it could cause obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s use is restricted in Austria and Germany and it’s banned in Norway.
Red #40, Red #3, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Blue #1 are linked to impulse control issues, attentiveness issues and hyperactivity (ADD & ADHD) in our children.
Red #40 can lower your child’s IQ and has been linked to sleep disorders.
Red #40 in adults can trigger migraines, give you an upset tummy and make you feel jittery.
Those who are allergic to aspirin can have an adverse reaction to Red #40 and Yellow #6, including rash, diarrhea and nausea.
Red #40 is so awful for us that it’s not recommended for our children in most countries in Europe. It’s 100% banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and Norway. It’s even banned now in hummingbird food.
Did you know that if Red #3 and #40 were sprayed on weeds it could act as a pesticide? The FDA is currently considering banning Red #3 because in large quantities, it has proven to cause cancer in lab rats, photosensitivity and birth defects.