Food Safety

Six food colors must carry warning labels in EU

Dr. Ben Feingold, a San Francisco allergist, reported that his young patients with behavioral problems improved when foods with color dyes were removed from their diets.

Color dyes in food may cause hyperactivity in children, and their use in the EU requires warning labels.
In the 60s, when British pop singer Petula Clark’s “Color My World” hit the charts, the yellows, greens and blues she vocalized were the natural colors of the sun, grass and sky. Today, processors that use certain artificial colors in foods and beverages sold in EU member states must include a warning on the container that these food colors may cause hyperactivity in children, according to the UK-based Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The colors are Tartrazine (E102), Quinoline Yellow (E104), Sunset Yellow (E110), Carmoisine (E122), Ponceau 4R (E124) and Allura Red (E129).

Any food or drink containing one or more of the six colors-except drinks with more than 1.2% alcohol-must provide the warning on the label that the color “may have effects on activity and attention in children.” Food and drink products produced before July 20 can continue to be marketed, but any products manufactured after that date must have the new markings.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says it hopes the European labeling rule gets the attention of officials at FDA.  According to CSPI, a 2004 meta-analysis concluded artificial dyes affect children’s behavior, and two recent studies funded by the British government found mixtures of dyes (as well as the preservative sodium benzoate) adversely affect kids’ behavior.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.