Artificial Colors in Food: Safe or Scary?

Remember Rainbow Brite? If you recall, she’s the Hallmark character in a rainbow-colored dress riding a white pony with a rainbow-colored mane and tail. So many Rainbow Brite-inspired birthday cakes were made, as well as other sweets because of its fame among kids and kids at heart. Copious amounts of artificial colors in food products were added just to achieve the bright colors kids love.artificial-colors-in-food

However, did you know that artificial food dyes may be detrimental to your health? Obviously, if it is “artificial” then the ingredients are not natural or organic. In fact, many food manufacturers today are adding ingredients to their products to enhance flavor and to make them look inviting, without fully disclosing what these are.

A number of studies found that a number of artificial food dyes may be very unsafe. The article below written and published at Health.yahoo.net by Bill Phillips a father of two, discusses how a number of food dyes, as well as other ingredients are harmful to one’s health.

Artificial colors in food: safe or scary?

I always tell my daughters they can make a difference in the world, even at their tender ages of 10 and 7. To them, I probably sound like the teacher from Peanuts—they’re more interested in soccer and American Girl right now—but I hope the lesson eventually sinks in.

My latest example of a kid heroics for them: 15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who gathered more than 200,000 signatures in her online petition asking Gatorade to remove a controversial flame-retardant chemical. Last week, Gatorade announced that they would be removing the ingredient, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), within the next couple of months. That’s great news—especially for me personally, because I love the stuff! Actually, so do my daughters. (Read more of the story here…)


It’s alarming that so many food products with these harmful ingredients are sold in the market world wide. A lot of people are not aware of this so it would be smart to spread the news. The video below discusses why these artificial dyes in food are unsafe.

The Dangers of Artificial Food Colorings Video

Among the eleven scariest ingredients that Phillips mentioned in his article are the four artificial food colors – Red #3 (Erythrosine), Red #40 (Allura Red), Yellow #5 (Tartazine), and Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow).

The two red artificial dyes are commonly used in candies, chocolate cakes, cereals, beverages, maraschino cherries, fruit cocktail, and other pastries. Studies have found that these colors, especially Red#3, was linked to thyroid tumors in rat experiments.

The two yellow artificial colors are usually used in beverages, bread mix, chips, cookies, cereal, condiments, and pudding. A number of studies found that both of these colors were linked to kidney and intestinal tumors in rats.

Although the experiments were only among rats and not humans, us consumers should now be more careful with food choices. Most manufacturers hide the truth about their products’ ingredients by stating that the products have “natural food coloring,” when in fact, they are artificial. Artificial colors in food may prettify what you eat, making it look more delicious, but always keep in mind that these may be very harmful to your health once consumed in huge amounts.



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