Re: “Food dyes’ safety back under the microscope” (TNT, 3-28).
As a registered dietitian who specializes in adverse food reactions to food chemicals, I was pleased to see this article. However, I would like to stress this is not a problem unique to children. Many adults also suffer from adverse reactions to food chemicals that contribute to migraine, irritable bowel syndrome and many other medical conditions.
Once sensitivity to these chemicals are identified and eliminated from their diets, their symptoms and the medications previously used to control them are eliminated or drastically reduced.
We are one of the few countries that allows artificial coloring in our foods. One of many examples is the Nutrigrain Bar. In the United States, the NutriGrain Bar contains Red #40, Yellow #6 and Blue #1. The same Nutrigrain Bar in Europe uses natural substances for coloring, such as beetroot, annatto (from the achiote tree) and paprika.
People who have adverse food reactions often find it difficult to shop in regular grocery stores. They often need to prepare all of their foods from scratch, locate food products online or purchase from specialty health food stores. This is often expensive and inconvenient.
These chemicals are not just dyes but also include such substances as benzoate, polysorbate 80, sorbitol, sodium metabisulfite, sorbic acid, lecithin, potassium nitrite, sodium sulfite and many more.
Food chemicals need to be better controlled not only to protect the health of our children but all Americans, young and old.