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FDA panel votes against food dye warnings

WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- A government advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday against food dye special warning labels for children, officials say.

The 14-member advisory panel voted 8-6 against the idea of warning labels, saying there was no scientific proof that artificial colorings cause hyperactivity in most children, The New York Times reported.

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The panel was convened after FDA scientists said typical children may be unaffected by the dyes -- Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and other dyes -- but children with behavioral problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may see their symptoms worsen by eating food with synthetic color additives.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington petitioned the FDA to ban the dyes because it said they have no useful nutritional or preservative value, their only function is cosmetic and there is evidence dyes made from petrochemicals worsen some children's behavior.

"We agree with today's FDA's advisory committee finding which determined that there is insufficient evidence of a causal link between artificial colors and hyperactivity in children," the Grocery Manufacturers Association told the Times.

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