Taking a Stand Against Additives
It is estimated that there are 14,000 man-made chemicals in our food supply, many of which have immediate or long term health effects. European studies have linked common health issues in children to additives such as artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colours. The Europeans also have also led the way with legislation to remove health damaging additives from processed foods.
A study funded by the European Union Food Standards Agency has drawn a link between temper tantrums, poor concentration, and allergic reactions such as asthma and rashes, to chemical food additives. The findings are already spurring the food industry in Europe to reformulate children's food products.
Several additives are known to present health problems. One that can produces allergic reactions is Tartrazine, AKA Yellow dye #5. This artificial colour has already been banned in Austria, Finland, Sweden and Norway, but is still found in North America in many products that children go for, such as: macaroni and cheese dinners, chewing gum, gelatin desserts, popsicles and ice cream. This food dye is also in other foods we consider healthy, like cheese, fruit juices and even milk. About 500 drugs contain Tartrazine as a colouring agent. Meanwhile some studies point to Tartrazine as a major contributor to bronchial asthma, a condition that presents a considerable burden on our health care system.
No move has been made in North America to ban food dyes in spite of petitions to the FDA (U.S.) by the watchdog Center for Research in the Public Interest. In Canada, the approach so far has been to improve labelling; instead of the word “colour,” the specific food colour (red, yellow, blue) would be on the label. But for labelling to make a difference consumers must be aware of the potential health risks of a food additive. This website has comprehensive information on additives:
I find many people are actually sensitive to food additives, such as Tartrazine, but had not linked this to their symptoms (which can take many forms). Sensitivities to food dyes, as well as preservatives and artificial flavours, can be identified easily using the Bio Energetic Evaluation available through Health E Guide. Studies have shown this testing to be just as reliable as skin provocation testing, and definitely less intrusive (no pricking or prodding). Read the research evidence: (Bio Energetic Evaluation).