The Dangers of Artificial Food Dyes

Artificial food dye, Blue 1, Blue, 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, FD&C Lakes, Citrus Red 2, Artificial color--whatever name it appears as in nutrition labels, it’s pretty much all the same thing in concerns of health risks.

Artificial food coloring gives the processed foods that many people love a bright and colorful appeal, but at what cost? There’s no pot of gold at the end of the food dye rainbow--educate yourself on where these vibrant threats hide and why you should try to reduce your consumption.

What foods contain artificial food colorings?

Thousands of common foods contain artificial food dyes and some of them may surprise you! The obvious foods that contain food dye include colorful cereals and candy. But they are also added to sodas and other beverages, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and even dog food and processed meats like hot dogs and sausages. The good news is they are easy to spot. Simply read your food labels and look for additives which usually contain some sort of combination of colors and numbers.  

What risks do artificial coloring pose?

Consumption of food dye has increased over 500% in the past 50 years. YIKES! With the popularity of food dye on the shelves increasing research is imperative to fully understand their health threats. Most food dyes out there have not been tested, but the ones that have are believed to be linked to certain kinds cancer. Here’s the downlow of what studies have found:

  • The Center for Science in the Public Interest has linked Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, and Yellow 6 to hyperactivity and behavior problems in children.
  • In an unpublished study Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice.
  • Blue 2 linked to bladder tumors in mice and rats, as well as allergic reactions.
  • Yellow 6 has been associated with cancer of the adrenal glands, as well as allergic reactions.
  • Possible link between thyroid cancer and Red 3.

Yes, most of these studies do not provide fact, but you still shouldn’t risk your health. Reducing your intake of food dyes is a smart choice. Many foods that contain a lot of artificial food dyes are processed and bad for you anyways, so why not just cut them out of your diet to be safe?

At Boxtera we offer organic snack options with that contain no artificial food coloring or flavors, no artificial sweeteners, and no high fructose corn syrup. Read our nutrition labels to see for yourself! Protect your health, and choose smart snacks from Boxtera!

Sarah Francis
Sarah Francis


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