The dangers of food colouring

Make natural colour choices when shopping for your family.
Make natural colour choices when shopping for your family. 

The CPSI in the US released a report entitled “A Rainbow of Risks” last year which outlined the potential risks of artificial food colourings used in over a thousand of our foods.

Included were the so-called Southhamton 6 E numbers 110, 122, 102, 124, 104 and 129 which were linked to behavioural problems in children, but also now includes links to cancer with Blue 2 (E132), Red 3 (E127), Red 40 (E129) and yellow 6 (E110).

The studies are in rodents and so are not proof of an effect in humans, but are we really going to wait for conclusive evidence before we act?

One of the findings was that it is not just the dyes themselves, but may be due to carcinogenic contaminants.

These dyes are not necessary in our food chain, they are only there to make food look more enticing, particularly to children.

My view is that they should be removed from foods and natural colours should be used in their place.

As consumers, and especially those of us who are parents, we should act and vote with our wallets – don’t buy any food or drink with ANY artificial colours. If we don’t buy them they’ll stop making them. What do you think?

Dr Joanna McMillan is a registered nutritionist with a PhD in nutritional science.  She writes a weekly column for Sunday Life and you can also read her nutritional family recipes, tips and advice on her blog.