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FD&C Red 40 (a food coloring with negative side effects on many children)

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FD&C Red 40:

What is Red 40:

  • A petrochemical. A highly processed, petroleum based chemical used to color foods to make them more visually appetizing.
  • It goes by several names including: Allura Red, Food Red 17, C.I. 16035, FD&C Red 40.
  • It is banned and/or being phased out in much of Europe due to concerns over health effects.
  • Its full name is:

6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid

What effect is Red 40 thought to have on some people?

  • One British study found it increased hyperactivity and decreased IQ!

Link to studies on food dyes

A suggestion of how to find out if your child is affected by Red 40:

“Let me suggest a test, though. Because your son is young and his diet is somewhat controllable, you might try to eliminate red dye for four weeks. (Make sure his diet remains complete and healthy.) Take a video before and after the diet test – at the same time of day, doing the same activity – and see if there is any change. If an objective observer can watch the tapes and see a difference, you may want to eliminate red dye permanently. But check with your doctor before making any significant long-term adjustments to your son’s diet. “ Paediatrician Diane Sacks spent 20 years at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and is currently on staff at North York General Hospital.

Copied on 7-7-10 from:

Suggestions for elimination of Red 40:

  • Read labels diligently
  • Found in red, orange, yellow, brown, “golden” colored foods.
  • Found in most processed foods as well as candies, gum, juice/soda, cereal, yogurt, many “kid friendly” snack foods.
  • Also so found in many medications to make them look more appealing.

Link to lists of common foods containing Red 40

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  1. Muchos Gracias for your blog. Really Great.

  2. Bibiana says:

    thanks for your blog, I had PLEVA (that´s a varioliform type of allergic skin) and I have tought It was by RED 40. I can´t expose it and It is in every meal and soap and cream.

  3. I am sorry to hear that Bibiana. I hope the information in the post is helpful to you. I did not think about Red 40 being in soaps and lotions, thank you for educating me. Some of the children that I work with are sensitive to food dyes, hence the reason for the post. Good luck to you!

  4. Patricia Parker says:

    I think red 40 should be illegal. I have a grandson. Within 15 minutes from the time he has eater or drank anything with red 40 in it cannot sit still or concentrate very well. This will go on for the next 3 days.

  5. hey Alison if you are online right now can I have your last name? I need to do a citation on your article. I am not trying to creep you out or anything but it would be really helpful :0 thanks

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