A Critical Review on Childhood Hyperactivity and Artificial Food Colors
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Artificial food colors (AFCs) are dyes, pigments, or other substances that can impart color to either of a variety of foods making them attractive, appealing, appetizing, and informative. However, the AFCs have long been suspected of triggering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authorization (EFSA) are responsible for assuring that citizens use the AFCs safely and appropriately. Since 1963, nine certified color additives have been approved for use in the United States, and 3 of the 9 were already banned in Europe. By comparing the AFCs legislation status in U.S. and E.U., and analyzing clinical data from academia, government and advocacy groups (NGOs), my review questions the use of AFCs in U.S. foods, and recommends that more epidemiology studies followed by carefully designed animal experiments should be done to determine whether these compounds are appropriate in food manufacturing. I recommend that the legislature move rapidly to enhance the reliability and safety of our food system.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Subjectartificial food colors, clinical study, food safety, childhood hyperactivity, ADHD, food regulation
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