FDA panel fails to act on food colours

AN ADVISORY panel to the US Food and Drug Administration has called for more research into whether food dyes can trigger hyperactivity in children.

The 14-member panel of doctors, food experts, scientists and consumers sat for two days of public hearings recently, and voted narrowly (8–6) against recommending new warning labels for foods with dye.

The panel instead sought more research (13–1), saying “a causal relationship between consumption of certified colour additives in food and hyperactivity in children… has not been established”.

“I don’t need to have more studies. All I need is a bag of M&Ms and 10 minutes,” a mother said during the hearings.

CMAJ 2011; 183:E533-34