The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) gets another red mark from ACSH for attempting to have three of the most commonly used food dyes banned by the Food and Drug Administration. CSPI claims that these dyes contain carcinogens and cause behavioral problems in children. Notably, the three dyes Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are often found in sugary foods such as cereals, fruit drinks, and candy.
ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan points out the misleading nature of CSPI s statements. These dyes had to be tested at very high doses in rats to cause cancer much higher than would be consumed by humans. To bring attention to dyes as an actual health risk is a real disservice to consumers. CSPI has a history of bringing attention to bogus risks.
Upon hearing the news, ACSH's Jeff Stier wondered if he was being taken back in time. This story is a repeat of a 30 year old food coloring scare. For more information, please refer to item #6, Red Dye Number 2 of 1976 in our classic report Facts Versus Fears (the PDF link is on the right side of the page).