Food System Voices

Issue Alert

The Use of Caramel Coloring and Food Dyes

Food dyes are used in food production to maintain or improve the appearance of foods, and color additives are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure they are safe for human consumption. While food dyes have been studied extensively and have been found safe for human consumption, the use of caramel coloring and other food dyes in food production has been linked to health and behavioral issues including allergies, asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children. While no conclusive evidence has been found, some studies have suggested an association between food dyes and ADHD. A Consumer Reports test released earlier this year showed high levels of the chemical compound 4-MEI in some soft drinks, generating some concern about potential risks of exposure to the chemical through consumption.

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About Engage

The ENGAGE Resource Center provides a platform for those in agriculture and the food industry to actively respond to issues or misinformation in the media, or online. Through this program, those in the industry serve as a “voice of reason” for situations that call for those involved in today's food system to “set the record straight” through immediate and thorough response.



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