Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do you want a cherry on top?

I hated to read this.  I love maraschino cherries.  I could eat a whole jar of them.  Every Christmas I look forward to getting some cherry cordials, but they do hurt my stomach after eating them.  It is no surprise that they have dye in them.  I mean just look at your tongue after eating one, the dye that remains in your mouth.  Now you can get cherry cordial ice cream.  It's so yummy.  It is nasty for you, but so are chemicals.
 Red dye #3; the maraschino cherry… Studies were done in 1983 that showed thyroid tumors in rats on high amounts of this dye. As a result of these studies, the FDA recommended that Red dye #3 be banned in the U.S., but the governmental powers that be overruled the FDA’s decision and subsequently, this colorant is still used, but only as a straight color additive; not in lake form. Huh? O.K., it goes like this: straight color additives are water soluble and are ideal for use in foods that have a lower fat content, or a higher liquid content. Lakes are the water insoluble form of the same colorant and are used in products that have low moisture content such as tablets, or in high fat products, such as icing.
The Food and Drug Administration today banned many uses of Red Dye No. 3, saying studies had shown that very high doses of the color additive can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
The action prevents further use of the dye in some cosmetics, drugs and foods. But because the risk is considered small, the agency said consumers could continue to use existing supplies of products that already contain the dye.
This article is from the associated press print in the New York Times:
''The actual risk posed by Red No. 3 is extremely small,'' said Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. ''However, Federal law in this area is clear.'' ''There have been laboratory studies which showed that very high doses of Red No. 3, administered directly in the diet, caused cancer in rats,'' he said. ''In these circumstances, small as the risk is, we have no choice under the law but to end the provisional listing of this product.''
He said the F.D.A.'s action illustrates the rigidity of the law, which he said should be updated to reflect advances in scientific methods to assess risks.
The risk of getting cancer from Red No. 3 is no larger than 1 in 100,000 over a lifetime of consumption, the F.D.A. said. In comparison, the risk from natural disasters is 70 in 100,000 and from disasters like railroad accidents and air crashes, the risk is 6 in 100,000, the agency said.
In a statement, the agency said, ''Today's action prevents further use of this color additive in about one-fifth of its uses: in cosmetics such as lipsticks, in externally applied drugs and as a pigment form called 'lakes' in food, drugs and cosmetics.''
Red Dye No. 3 still has some approved uses in foods and drugs, but the F.D.A. said it is in the process of extending the ban to cover those. Other red dyes are available for use.

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