Thursday, April 30, 2009

Effects of Food Dyes on our Kids

Back in January, a friend of mine forwarded me an email that she received from another friend about the effects of the dye/food coloring that is put in our foods here in America to make the foods "look right". It was very eye opening for me, and I'm proud to say that our house is 99% dye free now. I noticed right away the difference in my kids behavior, and now, when they do have any dye, the old behavior shines through.

Here is a little of what her email said, along with a link to a news clip and a comparison of foods from the US verses the UK.

"Some of you are aware that in the past, I have pulled wheat & dairy from my kids diets. This scares a lot of people off & makes the implementation of our family's diet seem so obscure. We have integrated these foods back into their lives & had the opportunity to learn HOW the foods they eat effect their quality of life. The removal of wheat & dairy was a personal decision that I have never wanted to impose on others and it is not something that I promote as having negative impact on all children's bodies. The artificial additives, however, are the MAIN focus of change that I would love to see occur in ALL children's lives. People are unaware that the petroleum we put in our cars, the acids we pour in our pools, the mercury we talk about in fish, along with a host of other harmful additives is a reality in kids lunchboxes and meals EVERY DAY!! If you read a single food label & you can't pronounce it's ingredients, or worse yet, it has a color & # on it, put it back on the shelf!!! Go ahead, open up your pantry & be ready to be AMAZED!!! People live under the false assumption that if these dyes were harmful, they would not be allowed in our foods~ WRONG!! The FDA is funded and supported by a host of special interest groups. Their "special interests" primarily focus on lining their wallets with additional cash profits........ As you can see, I could go on & on!! Unfortunately, few Dr's even buy into the food dyes level of harmful repercussions. If your child has attention issues or irritability or behavior issues, I urge you to do some reading. One friend, kindly expressed how her heart went out to my efforts, but she couldn't identify b/c her kids did not suffer "attention issues" at school. My response was, "with all due respect, even though your child does not suffer from "attention issues", they DO suffer from the classroom interruptions of other children who have attention or behavior issues. Therefore, this effects ALL of us". The number of childhood diseases & the epidemic of obesity that is present in our nation today is only the beginning of what we will see in our children's generation. Many of the health issues we are seeing today were not prevalent when we were children. This is due in large part to the variety of chemical additives that go beyond the food dyes. The interesting part to all of this is that there are LOTS of ordinary foods that are GREAT choices for us to eat!!! It is not a full scale transition to organic foods (although, I DO think that this is the way to go!!). How many of you know that there is red dye in the apple you buy in the produce section????? It's CRAZY!!

The purpose for my email now, is to get a pulse on the level of interest from people I know. I am proud to share a news video segment that was featured on the news this past Thursday in Oklahoma City. My cousin Carrie has embraced this removal of dyes in her family & seen remarkable results. She will be the first person to attest to it's simplicity. Her son, Kip, was diagnosed with ADHD and medication was suggested 18 months ago. They lead different lives today , based on a variety of things she has learned. Click this link below to view the 3 minute segment!! I am SO proud of her!! (There is a 30 second commercial that precedes the segment.)

Click HERE to see the video.

Blogger won't let me add a PDF file, so here is just the text from the file with the food comparisons in the US verses the UK (where they have banned all food dyes!) This information comes from the Nutrition Action Health Letter, October 2008.

Americans consume five times as much food dye as they did 30 years ago, according
to the Food and Drug Administration. But the trend in other countries may be turning. British arms of General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft, Mars, and McDonald’s, for example, use few or no dyes. Why? Europeans dislike synthetic ingredients,
and the companies aren’t keen on putting warning labels on their foods.
Last summer, the European Parliament approved this warning for packages of
foods that contain any one of six synthetic food dyes: “May have an adverse effect
on activity and attention in children.” That was based on the results of two
British studies that tested food dyes, together with the preservative sodium
benzoate, in children from the general British population (and not suspected
of being sensitive to dyes).1,2 The British Food Standards Agency is urging companies to voluntarily dump the dyes. In June, the Center for Science in the
Public Interest (Nutrition Action’s publisher) petitioned the FDA to ban Yellow 5
and 6, Red 3 and 40, Blue 1 and 2, Green 3, and Orange B in the United States.
“Why should Americans continue to consume these synthetic dyes when many multinational companies are phasing them out elsewhere?” asked CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson. “The FDA’s insistence that there is no evidence
that dyes impair behavior is based on its misreading of a 25-year-old report.”
Do companies need synthetic dyes to make their foods look good? What do you
Good news: two of the naturally colored foods (Yoplait Original Red Raspberry
Yogurt and Kraft Organic Macaroni & Cheese) are sold in the United States.

What gives Fanta Orange soda its color? In the United States,
it’s two synthetic food dyes: Red 40 and Yellow 6. In England,
it’s pumpkin and carrot extract. At a U.S. McDonald’s,
the strawberry sundae gets its color from Red 40. In England, the
red comes from (surprise!) real strawberries.

For Parents
If you believe that food dyes affect
your child’s behavior, please write to
CSPI—Dye Reports, Suite 300,
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20009 or fill out a
report form at
We’ll forward the reports to the FDA.


Crissie said...

Kacey - oh my gosh... These are things that I absolutely never even considered!!!!!!!! This will become part of my concious thinking about what I'm feeding my family.

Thank you for sharing!


Mom4Change said...

I agree with you 100%. These food dyes need to be banned. I have created a blog solely on this topic. I am an advocate for all children who are needlessly suffering from the neurological affects of artificial dyes, namely red dye 40. It wrecked three years of havoc on my children's lives until one day I came across what was causing their terrible behavior, poor motor coordination, aggressiveness, frustration and overly-sensitive behavior. Dye-free and now living a wonderful life. My blog is It includes petitions and information. Your information was very well-written! Well done!

Lula Bee Boutique said...

Right On I say!!!! My son has been wheat and dairy free for almost 4 years as part of his treatment for autism and I can attest to the astounding impact of diet on the behavior of our kids. I have always heard about the red dye issue, but have not taken the plunge... it is def worth another look for us though. Thanks for posting!

Kacey & Kandy said...

Thanks for the link to your blog, Cayla! I know that so many people could benefit from the information!!


Little*Precious Boutique said...

Kacey, thank you for sharing that! My oldest son has a dye allergy that surfaced just after Christmas, athough I think it's always been there (the attention, hyperactivity, ezema on his legs). I've been more conscious of dyes in the past few months and have been absolutely SHOCKED to find how HARD it is to feed my kids (there is DYE in everything it seems)...but we are eating more PURE, natural foods's been for the best.

I hope you won't mind me sharing this entry on my blog. I need share to follow up on his dye allergy anyway.

Also, you might try the book Eat This, Not That for is WONDERFUL & really helped me grocery shopping AND choosing foods when we're out to eat!

The Cuties' Mommy said...

I just stopped by to say hi. I have been googling food dye allergies for the last several days and have been having a difficult time finding information. We just found out that my daughter has food coloring allergies and as we read labels and do research, it is amazing to me the number of food items that contain these additives. Especially considering how bad they are. Thanks for sharing!

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