State senators are debating a ban on artificial food coloring which some say is linked to attention deficit disorder in children.
Of the two bills under consideration by legislators in Maryland one would require warning labels on foods that contain Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, or Yellow 6 dyes and prohibit their use after 2012, according to Center for Science in Public Interest.
The other would outlaw dyed foods in Maryland schools.
"Evidence linking Red 40, Yellow 5, and other synthetic food dyes to behavioral problems in children has been mounting for 30 years," says David Schardt, CSPI’s senior nutritionist who testified in favor of the bills at the hearings.
He added, "The FDA should have banned the dyes years ago and responsible manufacturers could have stopped using them voluntarily." However, given their failure to do so, it is now incumbent on legislators to "protect children from these chemicals."
Meanwhile, food industry representatives, including Safeway, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, and the Maryland Restaurant Association, were in Annapolis last week to lobby senators to vote against the ban and disputed the studies that link food coloring to health problems.