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Synthetic Food Dyes Affect Children’s Behavior

Latest Report from the State of California Finds

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Concern about synthetic food dyes has recently revolved around neurobehavioral impacts on children, in particular exacerbation of attentional problems, such as in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other behavioral outcomes. The US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) initially approved the food dyes reviewed in this assessment between 1969 and 1987, when few studies of children were available. Since that time, clinical trials (including randomized double-blinded trials) using synthetic dyes have examined neurobehavioral outcomes in children, and laboratory studies of neurotoxic effects in developing animals have become available, and these are considered in this assessment.

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