IACM Responds to Rumors Surrounding the Use of Certain Synthetic Colors

Recent rumors that the Southampton colors are banned in Europe are not accurate. As part of an overall re-assessment of the safety of all food additives, the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS) has recently re-evaluated many food colors, including the six synthetic colors used in the “Southampton study” (McCann et al., 2007). EFSA, like the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, requires the labeling of these colors on food products, and opinions expressed by the EFSA ANS Panel and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) have upheld the safety of the six synthetic colors, including sunset yellow and tartrazine, and will allow for their continued use within the European marketplace.