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I received an e-mail from the Feingold Association today with the announcement that the FDA will hold a hearing in March 2011 on the subject of artificial food dyes.  This is HUGE, and I just had to share it here.  To quote the email,

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finally responding to the 2008 petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), has agreed to hold a hearing on food dyes in March. See the Federal Register announcement dated today.

This hearing is long overdue, but very welcome! Although Yellow 5, Red 40, and other commonly used food dyes have long been shown in numerous clinical studies to impair children’s behavior, the FDA has continued to dismiss the mounting evidence against the dyes.

According to Dr. Michael Jacobson, CSPI Executive Director, the continued use of synthetic food dyes is hardly worth the risk. “What’s the benefit?” he says. “Junk food that’s even more appealing to children than it already is? Why, when we’re medicating so many children for hyperactivity, would we let food manufacturers worsen some children’s problems? Behavioral problems aside, animal studies indicating that dyes pose a cancer risk provide another reason for banning those chemicals.”

Fortunately, a few companies are adopting smarter policies even in the absence of government action. Starbucks does not permit dyes in any of its beverages or pastries, NECCO has switched to safer natural colorings for its famous Wafers, and Frito-Lay is testing dye-free snack foods.

Europe has moved much more quickly to protect children from artificial dyes. The British government has urged companies to stop using most dyes, and the European Union requires a warning notice on most dyed foods. See more. As a consequence, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald’s, and other American companies that do business in Europe use safe, natural colorings over there — but harmful, synthetic petrochemicals over here.”

See what I mean?  This is huge for us, and a major step in the right direction for purpose driven parents everywhere. 

Now, you know I just gotta say, YAY Starbucks!  Happy Friday!!!!!