Your Daily Additives – Dye Week – Red #40


I have to ask: If you need personal protective equipment to handle food…Can you assume it’s safe to eat? It’s safe to say avocados aren’t corrosive, you don’t necessarily need splash goggles to slice into a watermelon, or a dust respirator to throw some nutritional yeast on your popcorn. But again, the FDA seems to still recognize that Petroleum derivatives are safe as a food substance. Also, explain how countless laboratory studies clearly state an additive is toxic, not to ingest, handle with caution, consult experts before handling and the average consumer “trusts” our government to provide safe food.

Whatever the chemical may be, how is it that the toxicology studies almost always suggest it is poison and the FDA continues to insist it’s G.R.A.S.? I always stress, regardless the amounts in food or how low the toxicity may be, it’s still laced with synthetic, cancer producing, tumor growing chemicals substances.

General research:

Red #40

FD&C Red No. 40 may be safely used for coloring foods (including dietary supplements) Red dye contains Lead and Arsenic

Red 40 is the FDA-approved version of Allura Red, which was first produced by Allied Chemical Corp. It is approved for use in beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics and, in terms of pounds consumed, is by far the most-used dye

Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 contain Benzidene, a human and animal carcinogen permitted in low, presumably safe levels in dyes. The FDA does not test for bound Benzidine when it certifies the purity of dyes.

Red 40 proved positive as an allergen. Possible carcinogen contaminant include p-Cresidine. There is evidence, albeit controversial and inconclusive, that Red 40, the most widely used dye, accelerates the appearance of tumors of the reticuloendothelial system in mice. No tumors were found in the only good study (per the FDA)




Lake dyes may consist of: Alumina, blanc fixe, gloss white, clay, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, talc, rosin, aluminum benzoate, calcium carbonate, or any combination of two or more of these, basic radical sodium, potassium, aluminum, barium, calcium, strontium, or zirconium

Red 40 also may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. The dye causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in a small number of consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children.

Red 40 was negative in the majority of genotoxicity assays performed, but positive in the in vivo comet assay in the glandular stomach, lungs, and colon of mice (Sasaki, Kawaguchi et al. 2002). That indicates that Red 40 can cause DNA damage in vivo

52 patients suffering from urticaria and angioedema for more than 4 weeks were placed on a 3-week elimination diet. Red 40 administered orally in doses of 1 or 10 mg induced a hypersensitivity reaction in 15% of the patients who were generally symptom-free at the time of provocation (Mikkelsen, Larson et al. 1978).

Dr. M. Adrian Gross, a senior FDA pathologist, concluded that there was clear evidence to support an acceleration effect of RE tumors because there was a decreased latency period without a corresponding increase in overall tumor incidence

“Considering the safety questions and its non-essentiality, Red 40 should be excluded from foods unless and until new tests clearly demonstrate its safety.”

Genotoxicity studies

  • Comet Assay; DNA damage; 10 mg/kg in colon; 100 mg/kg in glandular stomach; 1,000 mg/kg in lungs Positive (Sasaki, Kawaguchi et al. 2002)
  • Comet Assay; DNA damage; 2,000 mg/kg to pregnant mice; 10 mg/kg in male mice; Positive in colon (Sasaki, Kawaguchi et al. 2002)

Potential Health Effects:

  • Eyes: May cause irritation.
  • Skin: May cause irritation to skin.
  • Ingestion: May cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Inhalation: May cause irritation to respiratory tract.
  • Unusual Fire and Explosion Hazards: Avoid Dusting. May become explosive when dispersed in air.
  • Precautions to Take in Handling or Storing: Do not ingest or take internally.
  • Consult an expert on disposal of recovered material and ensure conformity to local, state, and federal disposal regulations
  • These products are carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides

Do not ingest. Do not breathe dust. If ingested, seek medical advice immediately and show the container or the label.

Protective Gloves: Natural rubber, Neoprene, PVC or equivalent.

Eye Protection: Splash proof chemical safety goggles should be worn.

Other Protective Clothing or Equipment: Lab coat, apron, eye wash, safety shower.

Emergency Overview: CAUTION – Harmful by inhalation and if swallowed.

EINECS: This product is on the European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances

Legal G.R.A.S

G.R.A.S. List

Some extra reading material

John Parks
For two years I've thoroughly enjoyed researching the food additives "scientests" produce and put into all processed food. Also how the FDA classifies them as G.R.A.S. (Generally Recognized As Safe) With about 95% of the research I've done over the last two years the actual science, toxicity reports, manufacturing processes and pure technical aspect of it suggests otherwise.

When you see something that is "hazardous by definition", toxic, poisonous or corrosive and it's in the food you're eating, you would surely have to stop, think and ask, "That's going to go in me. Wait... It passes through the placental barrier? It decreases the testicular weight in mice? It's produced with volvano ash? It's processed with asbestos and krypton gas?"

Now, my main argument is this: If you know the food additive is toxic, corrosive or hazardous by definition, if it requires flammable or corrosive DOT stickers while transporting, if it has saftey precautions, spill procedures and you must wear suitable protective clothing while handling... Can you even assume it's safe to eat?

Irregardless of the exposure limits, the actual amount in food itself, how many regulations and standards there are or how low the toxicity may be... It is the general principle that the additives are still put in the foods you eat on a daily basis. I personally don't believe that when a tomato is dropped you have to evacuate the area and seal off the exits. Because that is exactly the procedure for some of the chemcial agents the FDA allowed in food.