The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has published a informative report on the risk of food dyes. CPSI states many currently approved dyes raise health concerns.
Many pet foods and treats include dyes merely to please the eye of the consumer; the pets don’t care what color the food or treat is and can’t see the colors anyway. While research on risks of dyes in food is primarily done to show risks to humans, these studies are done on laboratory animals. Thus negative results prove dyes are a risk to the dogs and cats consuming them in foods and treats.
Of the common food dyes found in pet foods and treats, the CSPI summary states…
“Blue 2 cannot be considered safe given the statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. It should not be used in foods.”
“Red 40, the most-widely used dye, 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. Considering the safety questions and its non-essentiality, Red 40 should be excluded from foods unless and until new tests clearly demonstrate its safety.”
“Yellow 5 was not carcinogenic in rats, but was not adequately tested in mice. It may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. In addition, Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions in a small number of people and might trigger hyperactivity reactions in a small number of people and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavior effects in children. Posing some risks, while serving no nutritional or safety purpose, Yellow 5 should not be allowed in foods.”
“Yellow 6 caused adrenal tumors in animals, though that is disputed by industry and the FDA. It may be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. Yellow 6 adds an unnecessary risk to the food supply.”
Read the ingredient list in your pet foods and treats; look for and avoid all foods and treats that contain dyes. To read the full CSPI report, visit http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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