What is it Yellow 6?
FDA regulates color additives in food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. FD&C Yellow No. 6 (also known by sunset yellow) can be used as a colorant in drug dosage forms like capsules and tablets. It can also be used in cosmetics and foods. FD&C Yellow No. 6 is a monoazo dye that is water-soluble and gives medicinal dosage forms a reddish-yellow hue. Animal studies have not shown that FD&C Yellow No. 6 could cause cancer in animals. 6.
Other names for FD&C Yellow #6:
- Sunset Yellow FCF
- E110 (European name)
Artificial dyes in food are an unneeded additive. Artificial dyes are used to make food and beverages more appealing. Artificial dyes do not have any nutritional value. Clinical studies have shown that these dyes can be dangerous when taken in large quantities over a long time. Because it is so common in consumer products, most people fall under the category of high-long-term exposure.
Yellow #6 is one of many artificial dyes that are covered under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. It is considered to be the most dangerous, compared to other colors. This dye can be found in many delicious treats such as cakes, candy, and ice-cream. It is also used in pet food, medication, and clothing.
Yellow #6, which is toxic, is a sulfonated Sudan I form. This toxic substance was created in the European textile boom of late 19th-century. Sudan 1 is classified as level 3 carcinogen. This means that it can cause cancerous tumors in laboratory animals but not in humans. Only a small percentage of people have an allergy to yellow #6. They experience skin rashes, asthma, hives, and other symptoms like hives.
It is strongly associated with hyperactivity, particularly in children, as it is similar to other dyes. Although some highly respected studies showed it had carcinogenic effects in mice, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), found these studies to be small. Despite numerous studies showing the adverse effects of artificial dyes on human bodies, FDA continues to defend them.
Jim Stevenson, a Southampton University professor, has shown that yellow #6 is linked to hyperactivity in children. Since then, the British Food Standards Agency has banned the use this dye in food and cosmetic products. The Center of Science in the Public Interest in the United States also appealed to the FDA for a ban on artificial dyes in cosmetic and food products.
Foods are ugly by nature. Foods without precarious color additions are designed to satisfy hunger. No matter how many studies have been done, harmful additives such as Yellow #6 will still be in our food. People are reluctant to eat colorless food in its natural state. It’s just not beautiful.
Commonly found in
- packaged snacks
- chips and crackers
- cheese-flavored varieties
- puddings and sweets
- ice cream
- other breakfast products
Possible long-term side effects
- tumor development
Possible short-term side effects
- skin rashes