Breaking News! FDA to Hold Hearings in March on the Safety of Food Dyes and Our Kids! Europe Far Ahead of U.S. in Protecting Consumers and Their Kids

Breaking News!  The FDA Will Hold Hearings in March on the Safety of Food Dyes and Our Kids!  Europe Far Ahead of U.S. in Protecting Consumers and Their Kids

Europe has moved much more quickly to protect children from artificial dyes.
Living a greener lifestyle can be tough huh?  We expect the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to protect us from harmful ingredients in our food; especially when it comes to feeding our kids right?  Well I found out the hard way that, in the past, the FDA has seemingly been on the side of big business when it comes to making decisions on what is and isn't allowed in our food supply.  When I ingested too much Crystal Light, which contained the artificial sweetener Aspartame, I was told that I had MS.  At the urging of a friend, who I thought was totally off base, I stopped consuming the Crystal Light.  After just 3 days, my symptoms were almost completely gone.

That was almost 3 years ago and the only lasting effects I have from my Aspartame poisoning are extremely poor vision and a mind, that was always sharp as a tack, which is far from sharp.  My passion for living a greener, healthier lifestyle for myself, my family and our planet began after that horrible experience.  Now I know that it is up to me, not the government, to protect myself and my family from the harmful effects of artificial food additives.  Still, there are so many consumers who believe, as I did, that what is on our grocer's shelves has been deemed safe for consumption.  This is why we must urge the FDA to continue to study the artificial food additives that we are consuming.

"These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody," Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of The Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in a written statement. "The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals."

Europe is far ahead of the US in protecting their kids from synthetic food dyes.  The British government has urged companies to stop using most dyes, and the European Union requires a warning notice on most dyed foods.  Consequently, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald’s, and other American companies that do business in Europe use safe, natural colorings over there but harmful, synthetic petrochemicals here in the US.

Fortunately for US consumers, in response to studies and consumer pressure, some companies (who should be applauded for their efforts) are adopting smarter policies even in the absence of government action. Starbucks does not allow dyes in any of its beverages or pastries, NECCO has switched to safer natural colorings for its famous Wafers (I let my kids eat those), and Frito-Lay is testing dye-free snack foods.  This is the way it should be right?  Government staying out of private industry and big business acting responsibly for consumer health?  Yet it seems that finally the US Government might be ready to make up for lost time, and lost health, and take a hint from the Europeans.  Trust me, there are many areas of European edict which I am steadfastly against, but this is one area I think we can feel safe about following in their footsteps. 

Apparently the FDA has been paying attention to studies (like The Center for Science in the Public Interest's recent findings) about the harmful effects of synthetic food dyes.  It was announced yesterday that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finally responding to the 2008 petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), has agreed to hold a hearing in March of 2011 on the safety of food dyes and our kids. I will keep you updated but until then, I am sticking to feeding my kids organics and whole foods as much as possible.  What are you gonna do?

I am not a perfect mother.  I am not trying to set myself up on a pedestal as an example for you to follow because I am learning along with all of you.  I have my vices.  I have my good and bad days and my kids, much to my chagrin, eat rainbow colored Skittles at parties just like yours probably do.  All I am advocating is that, as consumers, we understand that we are what we eat and so are our kids. Understanding what we are eating and how it affects our mental and physical health is important right?

Look, I do not think that a  few Skittles here and there will give my kids cancer.  I do believe, though, that feeding ourselves and our kids a diet (which each and every single day is full of more and more artificial food additives) is contributing to a sick society full of hyperactive kids and cancer laden parents.  What you choose to eat is up to you; as it should be, the choice is yours.  Just make sure you are garnering as much information as you can before you make daily food choices for yourself and your family.  What you ,as a consumer, decide is safe to put into your shopping cart will not only have an affect on your life, it will have an affect on the collective, future health of all of us. 

P.S.- I am really glad that you stopped by our Environmental Booty Blog and I hope you have learned or shared a thing or two.  I hope that , now that you've found us,  you won't lose us!  You can join our green living online community, subscribe to our posts download our community toolbar, Tweet with me on Twitter or Come Shop with Me to stay in touch!  - Shane :)

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Sources:,,, FDA, Center for Science in the Public Interest

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