Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Turn to do Something About Food Dyes!

This is a message from
Dr. Michael Jacobson of the Center for

Science in the Public Interest:

We need your help to get food dyes out of schools!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed common-sense standards to improve school lunches and breakfasts: more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; fat-free and low-fat milk; less salt; fewer unhealthy saturated and trans fats; and moderate calories.

BUT, USDA did nothing to get rid of food dyes, which the Food and Drug Administration acknowledges cause hyperactivity in some children. I hope that you, as a parent concerned about the effect of dyes on children, will send a comment to USDA! Tell USDA that dyes have no place in school breakfasts and lunches.
The deadline for comments is Wednesday, April 13th.

To submit a comment, GO HERE. Copy and edit the sample comment included below, if you wish. Or submit your own comment or your own story. (The form gives you only 20 minutes, so you may want to prepare it first, and then paste it in the form.) Whatever you do, please submit a comment. This is our golden opportunity to get dyes out of school foods in the U.S.


Michael Jacobson, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Sample Comment

to edit as you wish!

I thank USDA for its efforts to improve the nutrition quality of school lunches and breakfasts. However, USDA's proposal says nothing about food dyes. As a parent of a child whose behavior is impaired by dyes, I strongly urge USDA to bar the inclusion of any foods containing synthetic dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and others) in the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program. These neurotoxic chemicals have no place in school cafeterias.
The evidence for an adverse effect of dyes on the behavior of some children is widely recognized. In fact, the British government, on the basis of two major studies that it commissioned, has urged (largely successfully) food manufacturers to switch to safer natural colorings. Subsequently, the European Union required that most dyed foods bear a label warning. And recently the FDA acknowledged at its March 30-31, 2011, advisory committee meeting that dyes (and other food constituents) impair the behavior of some children.
Because dyes harm some children, because dyes serve no health function whatsoever, because synthetic dyes can be replaced by safe natural colorings, and because school meals are consumed exclusively by children, the only responsible action is to bar the inclusion of dyes in school meals.

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