Kraft Agrees to Take Yellow Dye Out of Mac and Cheese

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To market a new food or color additive, a manufacturer or other sponsor must first petition the FDA for its approval. Since 1999, indirect additives have been approved by a pre-market notification process requiring the same data as was previously required by petition.

But Leake and Hari cited a 68-page report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, "Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks," which outlines various studies on the health effects of food coloring.

The center was founded by scientists when consumer and environmental protection awareness was growing in 1971. It advocates for nutrition and health, food safety and alcohol policy.

The report was based on government studies from the National Toxicology Program and recommends removing yellow dye 6 from the market.

Both dyes used in the Kraft product contain benzidine 4-amino-buphenyl, a man-made product derived from petroleum. In a "too brief" mouse study, yellow dye 5 showed risks of hyperactivity in children, according to the report; yellow dye 6 was associated with adrenal and testicular tumors and no studies were done in utero.

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