Food Colours Linked to Adverse Behaviour, Lowered – EFSA Ruling

topbanner_left_enThe European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued recommendations that the acceptable daily intakes (ADI) for three of the questionable food additives  should be lowered — but rather strangely,  not because of their effect on childrens’ behaviour.

The controversial additives — Quinoline Yellow (E104), Sunset Yellow FCF (E110), Ponceau 4R (E124), Tartrazine (E102), Azorubine/Carmoisine (E122) and Allura Red AC (E129) — were given controversial status in 2007 when a study commissioned by the UK’s Food Standard’s Authority, and undertaken by the University of Southampton, concluded they caused behavioural problems in children. The European Commission subsequently asked EFSA to consider whether the additives should be banned, but after examining the study, its scientists said there were no grounds for taking such action.

Now EFSA has issued opinions on the six additives as part of an ongoing systematic review of the safety of all approved additives. In three cases — for Quinoline Yellow, Sunset Yellow FCF and Ponceau 4R — EFSA said the maximum recommended amount consumed by adults and children should be cut. But the reasons for this advice have nothing to do with the ability of these additives to produce tantrums in children.

John Larsen, chair of EFSA’s scientific panel on additives, said: We have now reduced the ADIs for three of the six colours we assessed, but for different reasons in each case as different data were available on each individual compound. The data which are currently available — including the Southampton study itself — did not substantiate a causal link between the individual colours and possible behavioural effects.

Despite EFSA’s insistence that there is no clear evidence the colourants cause behavioural problems in youngsters, the European Commission has still ruled that from 10 July next year any company using them will need to print a warning on the label that reads: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” This is likely to put most manufacturers off using the ingredients, amounting to a ban by default.

Related articles:

  1. ANH Feature: EFSA Defends Controversial Sweetener Aspartame (Again)
  2. Food Choice Has Greater Impact on Obesity Than Genes!
  3. French Study Contradicts FSA’s Opinion on Organic Food Benefits
  4. Common Ills are Linked to Memory Loss
  5. Organic Food: Is It Better For Us and The Environment?

Keywords:, , , , , ,

If you found this post interesting, please share it, leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed and get future posts delivered to your feed reader.

Leave Comment

You can ask technical questions, be as supportive, critical or controversial as you like, but please don't get personal or offensive, and do keep it brief. Your comments will be published only after verification.

(required)

(required)
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.


Current day month ye@r *

We use cookies and similar tools across our websites to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. Learn more about our Cookies Policy and click I understand, to hide this message.