Petroleum is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, yellow in color, extracted from certain rocks and refined to produce fuels such as gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil.
Refined petroleum is also used in the food industry as an additive in a wide array of popular products, most of which are targeted at the youngest consumers. In fact, petroleum is used for different variations of food coloring found in everyday items like soda, sports drinks, mac and cheese, cake, candy and several other common American products. To be more specific, yellow dye #5 and red dye #40 are some of these variations.
Although the FDA hasn’t yet banned these petroleum by-products added in American food, many other countries have owing to the fact that they pose a serious health threat.
According to recent studies, petroleum-based food dye is linked to the following:
- Allergic reactions
- Chromosomal damage
- Organ damage
- Birth defects
As food dyes may also pack toxic substances, the British government and European Union have banned their use since 2009 and 2010, respectively.
90% of the dyes used in foods are Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6.
As reported by Michael Jacobson, executive director at CSPI, even fresh oranges are sometimes dipped in dye to get a brighter and uniform color. A number of studies have found that:
- Red 40causes tumors of the immune system in mice and allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children.
- Yellow 5produces the same effects but also contains a high number of carcinogenic substances which link it to organ damage.
- Yellow 6 causes adrenal tumors in animals and hypersensitivity in children.
This is a list of popular children’s foods you’ll want to avoid:
1. Pop Tarts
The most popular flavor, frosted strawberry, contains lots of dangerous substances according to the nutritional information available on the Kellogg website.
To begin with, these snacks contain high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and sugar, all of which have been linked to diabetes, sugar addiction and liver problems in children.
These products also contain TBHQ, which is a dangerous petroleum based-product that damages human DNA and leads to cellular dysfunction. In laboratory animals it’s been linked to tumours, loss of vision, liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions, and paralysis.
2. Fruit Snacks
Unfortunately, lots of fruit-based snacks advertised as healthy, for instance jam-filled cereal bars, are in fact packed with food coloring to enhance their appearance and taste.
The food color most often used is Red 3, which has been banned for use in cosmetic products due to its relation to thyroid tumors.
3. M & Ms
These popular candy not only contain Red 40, Yellow 6 and Yellow 5, but also these Blue 2, linked to brain and bladder tumors, as well as Blue 1, which negatively affects nerve cell development.
Cheetos also contain numerous food colors, among which Yellow 6, but also an artificial flavoring mix, full of highly toxic substances.
The “Flamin’ Hot” variety was even reported to trigger abdominal distress, gastritis and addiction in both children and adults .
5. Teddy Grams
Although these snacks seem harmless at first, they are abundant in TBHQ, which has repeatedly been linked to nausea, vomiting, delirium, anxiety and stomach cancer.
On the plus side, you can easily swap these unhealthy snacks with natural and organic products, either homemade or store-bought, along with fresh fruits and vegetables in appropriately-sized portions. This is a much better and healthier option.
Note: The use of toxic dyes doesn’t stop in food products only. In fact, these harmful substances are often used in vitamin supplements, cough syrups, toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergents and hand cream. So if you want to protect your child from exposure to dyes, make sure to always read the labels on these common household products.
Source: Your Healthy Page