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Artificial Dyes Harmful for Human Health

The Bird Market. Part 2 of 8.Controversy has existed for several years on whether or not artificial dyes present in many foods and beverages as well as personal care products create harmful reactions in humans.  Animal studies by independent research firms confirm that, in fact, they do.

The United Kingdom has banned the use of many dyes and has ordered manufacturers to put warning labels on their products.  The US has failed to follow this wise lead and still allows for the use of eight artificial colorants.  Here are some of the concerns focused on the damage to health artificial dyes raise as reported on Joseph Mercola’s site, Mercola.com dated 2/24/11:

Blue #1:  possibility of kidney tumors; Blue #2:  increased risk of brain tumors; Red #2:  urinary tract tumors; Red #3:  thyroid cancer risk; Red #40- the most widely used dye: immune system tumors, hypersensitivity (allergy reaction), and hyperactivity in children; Yellow #5:  hypersensitivity and hyperactivity; Yellow #6:  adrenal tumors and  hypersensitivity.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest confirms this finding in their report entitled “A Rainbow of Risks,” “that nine of the food dyes currently approved for use in the United States are linked to health issues ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions . . .”

These dyes are made from petroleum and are used to deceive consumers into thinking the foods and products are fresh and healthy.  Artificial colorants are in many of the products we use every day.  It is easy then to understand how we can accumulate an overload of such toxicity leading to the adverse risks.  Of course, we all recognize those colorful children’s cereals, lollipops, popsicles, and neon colored beverages.  Dyes also color cosmetics, bath soaps, laundry soaps, shampoos and conditioners, toothpaste, drugs, and vitamins.  They appear in pickles, yogurt, sauces, and meats.  Any food or food product that has been altered by removing vital nutrients in processing lose their color and therefore their appeal by consumers.  Lesser quality nutrients are added back in along with colorants to make the product appear healthy.

Many manufacturers have begun to focus on the public’s concerns about such risks and have begun to alter their processing procedures or product recipes to include natural colorants such as beetroot and annatto.  Look for labels that clearly state “no artificial colors or preservatives.”  Then check the ingredients list before you purchase.  Our refusal to buy dye laced items will eventually force manufactures to provide healthier choices in creating their products with safety as well as consumer appeal.

Krystle Shapiro owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at (208) 290-6760.

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