Food Dyes

Health written question – answered on 28th February 2005.

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Photo of Ian Gibson Ian Gibson Labour, Norwich North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence the Food Standards Agency has examined concerning the effect of azo dyes other than Sudan I in food.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

The Food Standards Agency has reviewed the available safety data on three other Sudan dyes (Sudan II, Sudan III and Sudan IV) and concluded that as with Sudan I that they should also be regarded as genotoxic carcinogens.

A number of other azo dyes are permitted for use as food colours in the European Union based on opinions on their safety delivered by independent experts on the Scientific Committee on Food. The safety of all permitted additives is kept under review. The European Commission has recently asked the European Food Safety Authority to re-evaluate the safety of all permitted food additives.

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