Target: Director of Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Susan T. Mayne
Goal: Place warning labels on products containing synthetic food dyes and discourage companies from using them.
Many studies have shown that consumption of food with synthetic dyes in them is linked to many adverse health and behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity, asthma, allergies, and chromosomal damage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that there was no conclusive evidence linking synthetic food dyes to children’s behavioral problems, and will not ban them until they have run more tests. Until the FDA has completed these tests, they should require that all companies put a warning label on their products informing customers of harm synthetic food dyes can cause.
Europe already implemented this plan, requiring that all foods containing the dyes include warning labels. After that decision, the sales of these foods immediately dropped. Not wanting to lose business, most of the companies removed the dyes from their products before many European governments officially banned the dyes.
But in the United States, the dyes continue to be used. In fact, Americans now eat five times more food dye than they did in 1955. Americans deserve to know the harmful effects of these dyes, and warning labels on the actual product are the most effective way to inform them.
Dear Director Mayne,
The FDA has chosen not to take a decisive stance on banning synthetic food dyes, but it can not be denied that they are detrimental to people’s nutrition. Just like how cigarettes have a warning label saying the potential health problems they may cause, food with synthetic dyes should include warnings about the dangers of the dyes.
Even if the FDA believes that the link between food dyes and childhood behavioral problems is inconclusive, the American people need to know the risk that they may pose. It will do no harm to the people if they avoid consuming foods with synthetic dyes, so it would be better to take the extra precaution than to potentially cause nationwide health problems.
Businesses will also not suffer from these labels, if that is one of the reasons the FDA hesitates from banning the dyes. Not wanting to lose revenue, companies will adapt to the decrease in demand by removing the dyes from their products. This move will be good for public relations, and it will rid the market of the dyes without need for an official ban. It has already been done in Europe, so it can surely be done in the United States.
The American people need full disclosure on anything that could potentially harm them. The FDA needs to require warning labels for foods with synthetic dyes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Evan-Amos