Color Warnings on Hyperactivity Coming to a Food Near You?

December 1, 2010

By Ricardo Carvajal

FDA announced that its Food Advisory Committee will meet on March 30 and 31, 2011, “to discuss whether available relevant data demonstrate a link between children’s consumption of synthetic color additives in food and adverse effects on behavior.”  Earlier this year, the European Union ("EU") moved to require the use of a health warning on food (including beverages) containing certain colors after the publication of a study that suggested a possible association between those colors and hyperactive behavior in children.  In the EU, the label of a food that contains one or more of the affected colors and that is produced after July 20, 2010, must state: "may have effects on activity and attention in children."  Among the colors subject to the EU warning requirement are FD&C Yellow 5, FD&C Yellow 6 and FD&C Red 40.