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FDA Considering Ban on Red Dye No. 3


Following passage of a California law banning Red Dye No. 3 and other additives, FDA is considering a federal ban.  Public interest groups including the Consumer Federation of America filed a petition with the FDA in October 2022 to ban this additive based on potential carcinogenicity.  Red Dye No. 3 was banned for cosmetics in 1990 but enigmatically continued use was permitted in food.  Predictably, the National Confectioners Association is opposed to the ban since the additive is used extensively in candy, snacks and frozen desserts.


More recently, evidence became available suggesting that Red Dye No. 3 affected childhood neural development and that a high intake might be associated with behavioral conditions including hyperactivity.


Banning of the dye may have implications for the egg industry since stamping of eggs to identify brands or source codes and dates may be disallowed, although shells are not consumed.