Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CSPI Urges Front-Label Disclosure of Food Coloring

The non-profit consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) submitted a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday urging it to require food makers to disclose artificial coloring additives on the front labels of their products.

According to the petition, major food companies frequently rely on artificial colorings to imply the inclusion of healthy ingredients that are not actually in the product. This can lead to confusion for consumers who might not read the small ingredients lists on "nutrition facts" labels, the CSPI argued, calling the practice "deceptive."

Their solution: Clearly print any artificial colors on the front label.

"I don't know if the FDA will approve it, but it's a small measure that would help protect consumers and maybe cause some food companies not to use dyes," CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, Ph. D., told Food Safety News.

In a news release, the CSPI highlighted two examples of products that do not contain the foods after which they are named: Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast and Betty Crocker SuperMoist Carrot Cake Mix. 

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