FDA: No Proof Food Dyes Make Kids Hyperactive

Experts decide against warning labels, call for more research
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2011 2:53 AM CDT
FDA Panel: No Proof Food Dyes Cause Child Hyperactivity
The chemicals that give Froot Loops their colors aren't a danger to children, the panel decided.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) – There's not enough proof that artificial food coloring makes kids hyperactive to warrant warning labels but more research is needed, an FDA advisory panel has decided. The 14-member panel of medical and environmental experts acknowledged that food dyes can cause problems for children who already have hyperactivity disorders but decided there's not enough proof that they affect typical children, reports the New York Times. The panel voted 8 to 6 against adding warning labels to products containing the dyes.

Dissenting panel member Lisa Lefferts, an environmental health consultant, argued that regulators should do more to protect public health despite the somewhat murky data linking food dyes to behavioral problems, the Washington Post reports. "It's not like measuring blood pressure," she said. "There's something going on. Parents know that. But it's hard to measure." The food industry's representative on the panel argued that the general public would not benefit from the "massive changes in re-labeling" that restrictions on the dyes would require. (Read more FDA stories.)

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