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Many Processed Foods are Made with a Coal Tar Derivative Chemical that Causes Hyperactivity in Children

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page, Appetite For a Change page, and our Food Safety Research Center page.
Would you knowingly feed your children an ingredient derived from coal tar? That's exactly what you may be doing, if you let them eat any orange or yellow artificially-colored products including sodas, cheese-flavored products, flavored chips, pickles or a myriad of other foods and beverages. The industrial waste-derived coloring chemical tartrazine is a common ingredient in all these foods, underscoring the need to read food labels religiously. (Why would anyone put artificial colors into pickles? Read the labels, and you'll see!)

Tartrazine, also known as E102 or Yellow #5, was one of the colorings linked to childhood hyperactivity in a landmark 2007 study conducted by the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency. As a consequence, products containing it must carry a warning label anywhere in the European Union.

Not surprisingly, the United States has no such law -- even though the coloring has been linked to asthma, migraines and cancer. But since when the FDA ever bother warning the public about dangerous chemicals in their food anyway? After all, aspartame, MSG and sodium nitrite are all legal -- so why not add a little food coloring poison to the cocktail and call it "nutrition?"


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