Food Dye Usage – The approach of different countries

Food Dye Usage – The approach of different countries

I read an informative article about Food Dyes and their usage in different countries. The article suggested that because of concerns about food dyes and children’s behaviour, the UK government had asked companies to phase out most food dyes by last December (31 December 2010). The European Union also appears to require, beginning 20 July 2011, a warning notice being put on most dyed foods such as “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”. The article noted that the greater government oversight and public concern in the UK and Europe resulted in McDonald’s Strawberry Sundae in Britain being coloured with strawberries whilst in the US being coloured with Red dye 40. Likewise, the article went on, the British version of Fanta orange drink gets its bright colour from pumpkin and carrot extract whereas in the US the colour comes from Red 40 and Yellow 6. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) stated that many natural colourings are available to replace synthetic food dyes. Beet juice, beta-carotene, blueberry juice concentrate, carrot justice, grape skin  extract, paprika, purple sweet potato or corn, red cabbage and turmeric were some of the substance that could provide a vivid spectrum of colours.  The CPSI also warned that allergic reactions to ‘natural’ colourings such as carmine, cochineal and annatto can also occur. How does Australia stands in relation to the UK and the EU and the use of food dyes? Ref – The Human Ecologist Summer 2011 and CPSI news release June 29, 2010.

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