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As of Tuesday, foods with artificial colors must carry a warning across the EU.
(07/19/2010) From tomorrow on, foods that contain artificial colors must contain a warning on the packaging. Many foods in retail contain harmful dyes (azo dyes). As of tomorrow, consumers will be able to read warnings such as "May affect activity and attention in children" on manufacturers' packaging. The warning applies to products across the EU, but only to products that also contain azo dyes. All other products are initially exempt from this regulation.
Artificial colors are mainly contained in the popular colorful sweets and lemonades. These are suspected to trigger allergies, hyperactivity and poor concentration in children. In addition, azo dyes are said to increase the risk of developing cancer. However, alcoholic beverages should be exempt from this regulation. These should not be specially marked. However, consumers will notice that this label is not only found on sweets. This way, the warnings will also appear where you would not have suspected at first. For example in canned fruit, margarine, cheese and fish products.
This regulation does not go far enough for consumer advocates and environmental activists. For years they have been fighting for labeling requirements for food manufacturers. It would be best, according to consumer advocates, to ban these dyes. But the European food safety authority "Efsa" voted against such a ban, "there is not enough evidence that the colors make you sick". Therefore, the "Efsa" could only struggle to prescribe appropriate warnings to the manufacturers. It can be assumed that lobbyists of the manufacturers once again strongly influenced MPs. However, there is no evidence of this.
Since a ban has now been ruled out and other artificial dyes have been left out of this regulation, there is only the option for consumers to take action themselves. According to the recommendations of the consumer advocates, the following products should better be left on the shelves, as they can be harmful to health. Food with the E numbers E-102 (tartrazine), E 110 (yellow orange), E 122 (azorubin), E 124 (cochineal red), E 129 (allura red) and E 104 (quinoline yellow) contain artificial colors that are suspected that affect health.
If you want to be on the safe side and take care of children's health, it is best to only buy sweets in an organic or health food store. It is important to ensure that the inscription: "Without artificial colors" is included. Strangely enough, the large corporations have already reacted to this and quickly exchanged the azo dyes with other dyes to avoid the warning. For example, the well-known fruit gums from one manufacturer no longer contain azo dyes. (sb)
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