Banning hyperactivity-linked food dyes

The NSW Greens say regulators should ban or provide warnings about additives and colourings in food.

Consumer group CHOICE has found that more than half of 100 cakes bought from supermarkets contain artificial food dyes that some studies have found increase hyperactivity in some children.

The report says artificial food colourings only enhance the appearance of food and often allow the manufacturers to use cheaper ingredients.

Greens MP, John Kaye, said while some companies have voluntarily stopped using the additives, the responsible ministers and regulators need to act.

“Nestle Australia has banned these six food dyes but there are still a lot of manufacturers that are using them,” he said.

“They have no nutritional value, they have no purpose other than just to make the food look attractive, they’re a marketing tool and they’re a dangerous marketing tool that’s been proven to contribute to hypoactivity disorder in a number of children.”

He said food regulators overseas have removed the dyes from produce.

“In the UK, in the EU, and around the world food regulators are moving to ban them,” he said.

“In Australia there’s no movement at all. It’s time for food ministers to move a complete ban on these food colours, or at least have mandatory warning labels on the front of all packages.”

Woolworths said there are no plans to remove food colours from cakes both made in-house and sourced from suppliers.

Woolworths spokeswoman, Claire Buchanan, said labels show consumers what ingredients they contain, adding they are the same ingredients that a person decorating a cake they bake themselves would use.

— ABC News

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