26 January 2010

Read the Label

The use in foods and medications of FD&C Red #40, also known as E 129, has been banned by the governments of Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and Norway. (That information courtesy of the Canadian Broadcasting Company.) It's been linked with asthma, hyperactivity, and migraines. But it's still in common use in the United States.

You'll find it, probably no surprise, in Skittles, M&Ms, Fanta grape soda, and Hershey's strawberry milk. Also in pickled ginger, yogurt, various "juice drinks," and ice cream.

Plus: kids' formulations of Amoxicillin, Benadryl, Motrin, Tylenol, cough medicines, and many other medications. Read the labels on the OTCs, and ask your pharmacist if the packaging for prescription medication provides any information about "inactive" ingredients.

And by the way... the "carmine" in Dannon yogurt, Dole grapefruit juice, and various other "natural" products? Made from ground up bugs.