Virginia Sole-Smith, who is associated with Planet Green, says food manufacturers use about 15 million pounds of eight synthetic dyes, which end up in our food each year. In fact, per capita consumption of food dyes has increased fivefold since 1955, thanks mostly to 'fun' colors in breakfast cereals, fruit drinks and candies. A new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest says that synthetic food dyes pose risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children and allergies. The top offenders include: Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, which are all contaminated with known carcinogens, says the CSPI. Red 3, which the Food and Drug Administration has banned for use in drugs and cosmetics, remains in our food supply, with 200,000 pounds per year in goods like Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups and ConAgra Kid Cuisine frozen meals. Then, there is Blue 1, Red 40, and Yellow 6, which can cause rare but serious allergic reactions in some people. According to CSPI executive director, Michael F. Jacobson, these synthetics do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of our foods, but often trigger behavior problems in children, and very likely, cancer in others.
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