Friday, December 9, 2011

Foods With Color Additives Deceive Consumers

WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--December 8 - Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast has no cherry juice. Nor does it have any berry juice. Despite the pictures of cherries and berries on the label, this drink gets much of its dark red color from the controversial dye, Red 40. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that’s deceptive. And today, the nonprofit nutrition and food safety watchdog group is urging the Food and Drug Administration to require food companies to disclose on the front of food labels whether a product is artificially colored.
It's not just a problem with soft drinks. Salad dressing, bread, breakfast cereals, candy, baked goods, and even mayonnaise and pickles may get their colors from additives. Color additives are an inexpensive way to simulate absent fruit or vegetable ingredients, make white bread look more like whole wheat, or make sugary cereals more appealing to young children, according to CSPI.
Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix has no carrots, as such. Instead, it has “carrot flavored pieces” made with corn syrup, flour, corn cereal, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean oil, a small amount of “carrot powder,” unspecified artificial color, and Yellow 6 and Red 40. Most varieties of Mt. Olive and Vlassic pickles appear greener and fresher thanks to Yellow 5. Kraft Light Catalina Salad Dressing contains Red 40. And caramel coloring and cocoa darken Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel Bread.
“Betty Crocker is certainly free to make virtually carrotless carrot cake, and Tropicana is free to make berryless and cherryless juice,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “But consumers shouldn’t have to turn the package over and scrutinize the fine print to know that the color in what are mostly junk foods comes from cheap added colorings.”
Food colorings—be they synthetic dyes or obtained from nature—deceptively enhance the visual attractiveness of products and imply greater product quality, according to a regulatory petition CSPI filed with the FDA. CSPI says the agency should require that the label of a food containing color additives state ‘Artificially Colored’ on the package next to the product name—something the agency already requires of many artificially colored products.
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