A U.S. food watchdog group is urging the federal government to require disclosure on the front label of a product whether is artificially colored.
Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast has no cherry juice, nor any berry juice, and despite the pictures of cherries and berries on the label, the drink gets much of its dark red color from dye, Red 40.
Color additives are an inexpensive way to simulate absent fruit or vegetable ingredients, make white bread look more like whole wheat, or make sugary cereals more appealing to young children, Jacobson said.
A regulatory petition Center for Science in the Public Interest filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the agency should require that the label of a food containing color additives state "Artificially Colored" on the package next to the product name – something the agency already requires of many artificially colored products.
"The FDA has acknowledged that artificial food dyes, such as Red 40 and Yellow 5, trigger hyperactivity and behavioral problems in some children," the petition said.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest also highlighted the cancer risks associated with certain caramel colorings, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, which are contaminated with carcinogens. In addition, some consumers are allergic to natural or synthetic color additives, the petition said.