Document Detail

Toxicology of food dyes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23026007     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Food dyes, synthesized originally from coal tar and now petroleum, have long been controversial because of safety concerns. Many dyes have been banned because of their adverse effects on laboratory animals or inadequate testing.
CONCLUSIONS: This review finds that all of the nine currently US-approved dyes raise health concerns of varying degrees. Red 3 causes cancer in animals, and there is evidence that several other dyes also are carcinogenic. Three dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) have been found to be contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens. At least four dyes (Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) cause hypersensitivity reactions. Numerous microbiological and rodent studies of Yellow 5 were positive for genotoxicity. Toxicity tests on two dyes (Citrus Red 2 and Orange B) also suggest safety concerns, but Citrus Red 2 is used at low levels and only on some Florida oranges and Orange B has not been used for several years. The inadequacy of much of the testing and the evidence for carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, and hypersensitivity, coupled with the fact that dyes do not improve the safety or nutritional quality of foods, indicates that all of the currently used dyes should be removed from the food supply and replaced, if at all, by safer colorings. It is recommended that regulatory authorities require better and independent toxicity testing, exercise greater caution regarding continued approval of these dyes, and in the future approve only well-tested, safe dyes.
Sarah Kobylewski; Michael F Jacobson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of occupational and environmental health     Volume:  18     ISSN:  1077-3525     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Occup Environ Health     Publication Date:    2012 Jul-Sep
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-02     Completed Date:  2012-11-16     Revised Date:  2013-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9505217     Medline TA:  Int J Occup Environ Health     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  220-46     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Food Coloring Agents / toxicity*
Legislation, Food*
Risk Assessment
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Food Coloring Agents

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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