How Much Dyes Do We Eat?

April 8, 2011 |

FDA Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of the Food Dyes

According to the CSPI, total amount of colors certified by the FDA in the Fiscal Year of 2009 was 15,016.634 pounds or 6,817.552 kg or 6,800 tons that were all eaten by the US public (see food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks). This means 6,817.552/300 millions ~ 23 g per capita. Isn’t this too much? Let us see what the FDA has to say. In the table below the first two columns are taken from the FDA response and the other three illustrate the amounts of food dyes acceptable  (see FDA 21 CFR) for an average 60 kg person to consume daily, monthly and yearly calculated by the DyeDiet.

Acceptable daily, monthly and yearly intakes of the food dyes calculated based on the ADI

Certified Color ADI(mg/kg bw/day1) Day, g (per 60 kg bw) Month, g Year, g
FD&C Blue No. 1 12.0 0.72 22 264
FD&C Blue No. 2 2.5 0.15 4.5 54
FD&C Green No. 3 2.5 0.15 4.5 54
Orange B None established
Citrus Red No. 2 None established
FD&C Red No. 3 2.5 0.15 4.5 54
FD&C Red No. 40 7.0 0.42 12.6 151
FD&C Yellow No. 5 5.0 0.30 9 108
FD&C Yellow No. 6 3.75 0.23 6.8 82
Total amount 35.25 2.1 63.9 767
Vitamin C, RDI n/a 0.060 1.8 22
Vitamin A, RDI n/a 0.003 0.09 1

1) bw – body weight

As you can see, FDA acceptable combined yearly intake of all colors per person is about 0.8 kg! That is unbelievably huge amount of a foreign chemical allowed in your and your children’s diet! Can you imagine your doctor prescribing to you that amount of a medicine!? Look, even the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin C for an adult is only 60 mg, which translates to 22 g per year per person (this is a vitamin!). The RDI of vitamin A is only 3 mg a day or only 1 g per year!

The question is WHY any human being would consider consuming any chemical additive in the amount 35 times (!) the recommended amount of vitamin C? If this is not insanity than tell me what is it? Try eating vitamin A or C in the FDA acceptable amount for the food dyes and you will likely get sick of vitamin poisoning! And tell me what health benefits are expected by having kilos of the azo- and aniline dyes and other foreign food additives in our and our children’s blood? You will get none, as far as I know as a professional chemist, and there are good chances, instead, that this ruthless chemical intervention into our life will make us less healthy at a very least. Here is why.

Food dyes as a “splinter”

Food dyes are OXIDANTS to the main vital biological molecules like carbohydrates, lipids (fats), proteins and nucleic acids (DNA, RNA). Indeed, for instance, azo-compounds are long known to be metabolized in rats to corresponding anilines and benzidines many of which are highly carcinogenic (see Azo compounds metabolism). This means that the human body will likely have to mobilize a significant part of its REDUCTIVE potential, which normally would have been used fighting superoxide (O-O.) and hydroxide (OH.) radicals that are believed to be responsible for human aging, to reduce food dyes to potentially carcinogenic metabolites. What a silly waste of resources!

In a mechanistic analogy, the foreign chemical food additives in your blood can be seen as a splinter under a fingernail:

Splinter under a fingernailWith a splinter under your fingernail it is easier to see the cause and effect because you feel the discomfort and pain radiating from the very spot and so you don’t want it to be there. Even if you cannot pull it out your body will take care of removing it without your help! Unfortunately you cannot feel immediate discomfort or pain resulting from having foreign chemicals in your body. Those food chemicals may undermine your health in uncertain ways so a person may not realize that the health risks are taken.

According to Herbert Shelton7,000,000 of the 25,000,000,000,000 red blood cells in the body of an average man die every second, so that 7,000,000 new ones must be produced every second of our lives–a wonderful example of the creative operations always at work in our bodies. The materials out of which these new cells are built are supplied by food. This represents only a small part of the creative work that goes on. Similar destruction and reconstruction occur in other tissues of the body.”

Food additives cannot be used by your body to build new healthy cells to replace dead ones. This means that you will get ill and die sooner than as if you were carefully selecting nutritious foods instead. Therefore, the DyeDiet standpoint is clear: There is NO acceptable daily intake for the food dyes and any other foreign food additives.

“Over 5 million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States, and close to 3 million of those children take medication for their symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But a new study reported in The Lancet last month found that with a restricted diet alone, many children experienced a significant reduction in symptoms.” – ADHD: It’s the food, stupid

Let us support and get involved into the Food Day nationwide campaign launched by the CSPI “to change the way Americans eat and think about food.” Let us eat real!

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Category: FDA food regulations, Food and Risk

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