FDA hearings on dye in common foods

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It was lunch time at the busy South Charlotte Harris YMCA.  Moms and kids filled tables snacking on granola bars and pieces of cheese and lunch meat.

At Amy Strasser's table, the food was as dye-free as possible.

"I've noticed my oldest son has a reaction when there's a fair amount of sugar and dye in the foods he eats.  He gets really hyper.  So I've been working to cut as much of that out of the food I bring home from the store as possible," Strasser said.

The Food and Drug Administration is in the midst of a two-day hearing on the possible link between dyes like Yellow #5 and Red #40 in common foods, and hyperactivity disorder in children.

An FDA advisory committee will decide whether available data links the dye and the disorder and will then recommend whether there should be further study or better labeling of food.

The FDA has so far said there is no proven relationship between food dye and hyperactivity in most children, however, the agency said that for "certain susceptible children," hyperactivity and other behavioral problems may be exacerbated by food dyes and other substances in food.

Nutritionists will tell you it's important to read the labels of the foods you bring home from the store.  All-natural and organic foods are often the easiest way to avoid the artificial dyes but that can be expensive.

"It is still important to me to make the changes because if its better for them I'd rather do it," Strasser said.

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