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Comments (19)

  1. Melissa Papish, May 3, 2011
    Thank you, Martha, for raising awareness of this unnecessary ingredient in hundreds of foods. I, myself, have a sensitivity to red dye. Through trial and error, numerous food diaries, and almost 10 years of migraines, I've pinpointed that my headaches are triggered by this red dye. Since becoming aware of what I'm ingesting, I haven't had a migraine! As a mother, I'm also very interested in what my young son consumes, and I'm astonished at how many foods contain dyes and other artificial ingredients. There's a reason this dye has been banned in other countries. We need to be aware simply by reading the ingredients and choosing the good stuff! Reply
  2. Chris Parsley, May 19, 2011
    After finding your site I realized that the night terrors my nine year old has experienced in the past are probably related to food dye. My 5 year old is super sensitive to food coloring. To think that ingesting a petroleum product will not cause adverse reaction over time is ridiculous. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a regular food on the market that does not contain some sort of food dye. It is in everything we eat. It is said that an average human being eats about 11 pounds of toxic chemicals each year and we wonder why ADD, ADHD, Bipolar and Cancer are growing at an alarming rate. There is absolutely no reason to add a petroleum product (food coloring) to anything we eat. The only reason the manufacturers do it is strictly marketing related. They have performed studies that show the human brain perceives bright colors like we see in nature, apples, grapes, oranges, tomatoes as good for our bodies. Therefore if they add color to it and make it brighter, human instinct kicks in and our brains crave it. In reality we are slowly killing ourselves and our children. I absolutely hate when I read articles that state there are no studies that show food coloring is harmful. That is just the FDA’s way of saying the lobbyist have more power than you do. I have a child that began to act out with aggression and behaviors that were not natural, nor logical. We struggled for years as he was kicked out of daycare after daycare. As a last resort we took him to a doctor who diagnosed him as bipolar and put him on medication. We hated this but at the time; it was all we could do. We did not want him to hurt himself or anyone else. At one point he jumped out of a car at stoplight on a busy street because we passed a toy store and he was mad that we did not go there. After he was placed on medication, his issues lessened but did not go away completely. After about a year on the medication, he went through about a three week period where he slid back into the uncontrollable personality that he had been before the medication. I began to look at what had changed. I realized that a family member had given us a case of the little orange cheese crackers and a case of a well known ranch flavored potato chips (I don’t want to mention names). Our kids at these standard US snacks at the rate of about 5 or six packages a day during those three weeks. I began to put two and two together and realized the common denominator was food coloring. We removed all foods with artificial food coloring, which by the way was not as easy as it sounds, and within a few days our child was calmed, sweet, and caring again. The few times he had a meltdown was directly related to a food with dye in it. One time we could not figure out why he was acting out, all he had was pizza. Then I found out there is yellow dye in pizza crust. Why you might ask? So it looks pretty and your brain tells you it is healthy food. At this point we have backed his medication down to the lowest dosage and over the summer we plan to completely take him off the medication. Without food dye in his system we have seen an amazing turn around in his personality. It is like night and day. If he get any food dye we see aggression within about thirty to forty minutes after he ate the food coloring. I wish the FDA would call me. I could shoe them in just a few sessions what type of affect this has on our child. I find it amazing as I look around and kids are cramming cupcakes with bright blue frosting in their mouths at alarming rates, while the parents stand there and say, “I don’t know why little Johnny is ADD. Where did I go wrong?” … Really? I challenge you to walk in your local convenience store and find an item without artificial dye and by the why “Carmel coloring” found in many products is not natural either, it just sounds like it is. Reply
  3. Operababe5, May 31, 2011
    Hi, Martha. I testified at the FDA Hearings at the end of March concerning my own reaction to Yellow No. 5. I have wanted the U.S. to follow the lead of the U.K. on the issue of dyes in food. If they won't do it for the sake of we adults, at least they ought to do it for the sake of children who suffer such severe behavioral and emotional problems from exposure to neurotoxic petroleum-based dyes. There is no excuse. A colleague of mine (both a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering as well as an MBA who used to be an exec at AGFA, a huge chemical corporation in Germany) who was a classmate of mine in acupuncture school told me that Germany passed laws getting rid of artificial dyes many years ago. She said at first, people thought food looked funny in its natural color, but now colored foods seem really fake and ugly. If Germany can do it, so can we. They are so far ahead of us on avoiding damaging chemicals. All their dry cleaners were required to be organic and non-toxic decades ago. Why aren't we doing these things? You can't argue that it isn't economically feasible, because Germany has clearly proven that it is. Reply
  4. dean & donna, June 24, 2011
    Hi Martha, I work with Austic children and one in particular has a reaction to Red dyes. Her hands and feet curl inward so she loses all use of them when she has red food dye. Also another of my students with any dyes runs around opening and slamming doors uncontrolably. No dyes, no slamming. these are extreme cases but for the children I tutor with ADD/ADHD their cognitive abilities are affected. Even I have removed dyes from all of my foods. For me Yellow causes asthma attacks. Thanks for having this. I have linked several people to it. Great Service. Reply
    • admin, June 25, 2011
      Thank you so much for your important comments. I can't think of better evidence than anecdotal stories of what is seen with children exposed to artificial food coloring. Please check back with the site regularly....we are just in our earliest development phases and hope to expand the site over the next few months with more information. Many thanks for sharing, Martha Reply
  5. Fred, December 26, 2011
    Thanks for all of the helpful information. Reply
  6. Jane Hersey, December 27, 2011
    This is great information, but it really is not that hard to find foods that are free of synthetic dyes, as well as other petroleum-based additives. The non-profit Feingold Association has been helping parents do just that for more than 35 years. The newest issue of Pure Facts (our newsletter) describes a line of candy bars that are natural versions of Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Crunch, Reese's PB cups and Almond Joy. It also describes an all-natural maraschino cherry that is hard to tell apart from the junky version, plus a new zero-calorie natural sweetener. Our subscribers will also be receiving their 2012 Fast Food Guide to food that is Feingold-acceptable. And renewing members will get their copy of our Foodlist books, which are now running over 300 pages, filled with lists of brand name foods and non-food products that are free of synthetic dyes and the other unwanted chemicals. See www.feingold.org. Reply
    • martha, December 28, 2011
      Hi Jane and thank you for your interesting post. Feingold Association has been such an amazing trailblazer in advocating for the benefits of a chemical free diet and has come up many times in our research. We will add your link to our resource page. Many thanks and feel free to stop back often as we try to keep on top of cutting edge news, regulatory and compliance issues related to artificial dyes in foods. Reply
  7. Jen, February 4, 2012
    The Feingold Association is really the place to go for info on food dyes, etc. It is the ONLY resource parents have to find foods free of artificial dyes, artificial flavorings, preservatives, Aspartame.... Reading labels is not enough. Manufacturers do not have to disclose all that is in their foods and those of us with sensitive kids know we need more info when shopping. The Feingold Association does that for us. Reply
  8. Tamela, February 7, 2012
    Thanks so much for creating a site to inform others about dyes. My son's first symptoms began in kindergarten with eye tics, progressed in first grade to severe night terrors that left my husband and I in tears each night, behavioral issues (repeating actions and mocking others), severe eye and facial tics, and crying at the drop of a hat. Our little boy is precious and I battled with his first grade teacher trying to expain to her something wasn't right with him. Being a first grade teacher also and her co-worker, it was a tough year to say the least. In February 2011 he was diagnosed with Tourette's and in March 2011 we placed our 7 year old on the Feingold Diet. Within weeks we saw immediate results. He is now in second grade and is doing wonderful. Occasionally he will have tics resulting from environmental stimuli but other than that, he is back to our normal, happy little boy. I tell everyone I can about the harmful effects of synthetic colors and flavors in foods along with specific preservatives. I teach my students about color dyes and work with parents in hope they will make wiser food choices. It is very frustrating to know that eliminating these items help children with neurological disorders or sensitivities, yet those in control will not listen or ban these items. I used to think how pretty brightly colored cakes, cookies and cupcakes looked...now all I think is what effect is this going to have on these poor children. Color doesn't look good to me any more. My husband gets embarrassed everytime we go somewhere with foods/candies having lots of artificial flavors and colors and tries to draw my attention away because I tell everyone buying it what it does to children and how harmful it is. It now sickens me to see all of those colors and it makes me furious it is allowed! It is up to us to get the word out and continue to put pressure on the FDA and news media to continue stories against these harmful chemicals. Thanks so much for this site! Reply
    • whydye, July 19, 2012
      Thank you so much for sharing your story Tamela and we are so glad that you have found improvement iwth Feingold. It never ceases to amaze me the difference that diet can make. Reply
  9. Jacqui, April 18, 2012
    Hi WhyDye, I found your site after trying to find some answers about a stange reaction my 6 year old son experienced after eating Hubba Bubba Triple Treat Gum by the Foot. My son had eaten the gum and after about 10 minutes started complaining of a terrible headache and he wouldn't stop crying and holding his head. He had never had such a sudden or painful headache ever before and it was concerning. I gave him Tylenol and the headache went away after about 20 minutes but the reason I associated the headache reaction to the gum was because I kept looking at his tongue which was so bright blue from the candy. I can't be 100% positive but he has had other flavors of this gum with no problem in the past and somehow I just knew this was him reacting to the blue. The other flavor Hubba Bubba gums have combinations of red and yellow dye but this one lists Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellow 5. Has anyone else experienced severe headache from blue dye? Many thanks, Jacqui. Reply
  10. Richard Williams, May 1, 2012
    your informative site has started me reading labels . Its incredible the food products that use unnecessary dye. thank you Reply
  11. melissa, May 1, 2012
    I cringed as my son ran up to the ice cream truck today at the Kids Fest. The ice cream truck might as well be known as all things artificially colored. I happened to catch a glimpse of an Iron Man ice pop. No artificial colors or flavors! It's colored with beet juice and flavored with actual cherry juice. I didn't feel so bad spending $3 on flavored ice! Reply
  12. abigail, August 9, 2012
    We have been off food dyes for about a year and have noticed a huge improvement with sleep! My son got a blue pixie stick on a field trip, and what do you know, he had a terrible night, just like he used to every night before we changed his diet. We did the diet change to address behavior (all petroleum based chemicals including preservatives and topical) THanks for your website! Reply
  13. Terri, August 24, 2012
    Happened to read our dog food ingredient label. Purina Beneful lists Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 2. That makes no sense. Is the color for the dog or for the people who buy it? Going to find product without artificial dyes. Thank you for the information on your site. Terri Reply
  14. Sharon McClure, November 15, 2012
    My 5 year old son has severe behavioral reactions to food dyes. We are growing ever vigilant about eliminating them from his diet, but sometimes things slip past us (like Chick-fil-a ice cream...ugh!). I've been trying to find something - a book, research, blog - that will help me deal with him when he's in the throws of this, and it tends to stay in his system for several days. Is he able to be in control at all? Can he rationalize anything or stop himself? Can he recognize what is happening at the time? Any insight would be appreciated, especially from those with older kids that can articulate their feelings and emotions when going through this! Reply
    • Martha, November 17, 2012
      Dear Sharon, Oh I can relate. You are describing the life we lived up until my son turned about 5. It has now been 5 years since we went dye-free and the difference is night and day. I hope you had the chance to read "Our Story" as it seems like there are many similarities to what you describe. At the time we were identifying my son's severe reactions to dye, I did not feel there were a lot of resources in one place and that was the impetus for me to put this site together. The best sites for information that we have come across are by the CSPI as well as Feingold. There are links to both sites in the "Resources" section of our site. Please check back with us often as I try to post the latest regulatory info and collection of pertientent news articles. We would love to hear how things are going with your son. My best, Martha Reply
  15. MC, July 28, 2014
    I have been eating Yoplait yogurt for years and was appalled to learn that it contains coloring made from crushed beetles. I am vegetarian and never would have thought that yogurt would contain beetle extract and never would have willingly chosen it! I have seen the word carmine on labels in past but it is a smoke and mirror name to cover what it really is. Disgusting. Reply

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