Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E.U. spies some suspicious food dyes

I've spent some time with a great book by Dr. Doris Rapp called, "Is This Your Child?" (Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies). Dr. Rapp is a board-certified environmental medical specialist and pediatric allergist in Arizona, who's made a career out of helping parents figure out what's making their sometimes normal children become wildly inattentive or otherwise unwieldy. She figured out that a wide variety of environmental and chemical factors could in fact cause children to experience uncontrollable states, from rage to lethargy. It's a really amazing book, especially because she's got something like 30,000 kids on video tape before exposure to their trigger and after she treats it. I really don't understand why she's so under-the-radar, except maybe that pharmaceutical companies and agribusiness types don't want parents to wise up.

Anyway, I saw this GoodGuide article about the E.U. examining some food colorants that may "have adverse reactions in children" and it made me think of that great book. Anecdotally, a woman I know who did in-home childcare for 30 years told me about a young boy she used to watch who was a hyperactive mess. Finally, the mom found a doctor who tested and found that he was allergic to a certain red food dye. Once she removed it from his diet, he was a different child. How scary is that?

The UK's Food Standards Agency was reviewing (as of March 2009) these six coloring agents and placed a voluntary ban on them (these are the US equivalent names):
  • FD&C Yellow 5
  • FD&C Yellow 6
  • FD&C Yellow 10
  • FD&C Red 4
  • FD&C Red 40
  • Carmoisine

As of May 1, 2009, many UK companies voluntarily removed the above dyes from their products. You can see a list here.

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