Popular Food Dyes Carry Profound Cancer Risks – Cancer Defeated

Popular Food Dyes Carry Profound Cancer Risks

By Lee Euler / March 22, 2014

I’m horrified when I walk by the baked goods section of the supermarket and see cakes or cookies drenched in garish colored icing. Valentine’s Day brings cookies iced with dark red or hot pink. St. Patrick’s Day means foods dyed greener than any healthy lawn. I’ve even seen cakes on Halloween that are completely covered in orange and black icing.

The stuff doesn’t even look appetizing. It looks like brightly-colored plastic toys (and that may be the idea). But I wouldn’t be surprised if plastic is less toxic than some of the dyes in our foods these days.

I’m not the only one who thinks so. Read on for the disturbing truth about new links between food dyes and cancer.

Continued below…

Oliver was doomed to die from cancer within 8 hours –

But then he found out what to do. . .

Oliver had reached the end of the road in his seven-year fight against cancer. His doctors didn’t think this 32-year-old man would live through the night.

But when I talked to Oliver six years later, he was the picture of health! He got rid of his cancer completely.

Yes, Oliver found the answer — his own cancer miracle.

I sat down with him and his doctor and they told me an incredible story. . . a story that could help save you or someone you love from this dreaded disease.

If you’d like to hear it, click here now.


Manufacturers add about 15 million pounds of synthetic dyes to our foods each year. They do it because dyes are supposed to make foods look tastier and healthier. But they’re deceptive, not to mention poisonous. The fake coloring simulates healthful, colorful fruits and vegetables –ironic, considering the adverse effect of the toxic ingredients in these foods.

It’s practically an epidemic. The dyes are in just about everything, from breakfast cereals to salad dressings to every type of candy out there. Fruit drinks, sodas, and ice cream are also contaminated, not to mention certain breads. Because food dyes are so prevalent, our per capita consumption is up 500 percent from what it was about 50 years ago.

Manufacturers claim they add dye to foods for the following reasons:

  • To enhance the color of food
  • To add color to food that’s has none
  • To avoid color loss that’s a result of environmental elements
  • To deliver consistency when colors vary in food

Most of the colorings are synthetically produced. That’s where you get names like Blue No. 1 and Green No. 3. The three most widely used dyes are Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 – all of which are contaminated with cancer-causing agents.

Another dye, Red 3, has actually been identified as a carcinogen by the FDA, but incredibly is still used commercially! On top of that, many of the most common food dyes are petroleum-based.

Three of the most commonly used dyes contain carcinogens. Four of them cause serious allergic reactions. And studies show that seven of the most common dyes caused cancer in lab animals, including colon cancer, brain tumors, and testicular tumors.

Of course, the FDA supposedly regulates food color additives with the goal of making them safe for human consumption. FDA approval includes studying the composition, health effects, and safety effects of dyes, along with ensuring colors are labeled on food so people know what they’re eating.

That regulation is pointless, since synthetic chemicals shouldn’t even be in our foods. They do nothing to enhance the nutritional quality. They don’t make the foods safer (quite the opposite). We’re seeing them trigger not only allergies, but also behavior problems in children like hyperactivity, and as I mentioned, the scariest of all – cancer.

Beware of “natural additives” as well

Some food colorings come from natural elements, like the pigments of vegetables, minerals, and sometimes even animals. But I’d caution you to steer clear of anything with “natural additives.”

Caramel color is a good example of a natural additive that can be toxic. It’s commonly used to give sodas that rich, brown color (by the way, caramel color has no connection to real caramel, which is made from sugar). According to a 2013 report from market research firms Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research, caramel color is the single most used food coloring in the world. But two of the four types of caramel color contain something called 4-MeI, which is a potential carcinogen.

Most people have never heard of 4-MeI. But you need to know how dangerous it may be, especially since a two-year government study showed it causes cancer in mice. Worse, it’s hard to tell which sodas have 4-MeI, since all the food label will say is “caramel color,” leaving you to wonder whether you’re drinking one of the “safe” varieties of this dye.

In 2013, Consumer Reports conducted tests on a variety of carbonated beverages, including Pepsi, Coke, and Malta Goya to determine levels of 4-MeI. Their results showed quite a bit of variation. Pepsi and Malta Goya had significant levels of 4-MeI – both averaging more than 29 micrograms per can or bottle. (Note: 29 micrograms was used as the cutoff point because that’s the level that poses a one in 100,000 risk of cancer according to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.)

Like many of the poisons in our diet, there are no federal limits on how much 4-MeI can be put in a beverage. Most Americans drink 2.5 glasses a day of brown sodas. (I don’t drink any, so someone else must be drinking five to make up for me!)

I’ve got a wild, crazy idea:
Eat real foods

Over the last couple years, prominent watchdog groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have said food dyes pose major health risks and that the U.S. government should ban them. In most of Europe, they’ve already been banned.

The health risks are huge, especially for young children. In 2008, CSPI petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban use of these toxic dyes. It’s outrageous that the FDA hasn’t done something, especially considering how easy it is to replace those colorings with safe, natural ingredients. Companies want to keep using the dyes because they’re cheaper, more stable, and brighter than most natural colorings.

Yet, there are safe, saleable alternatives. Consider strawberry-flavored Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal bars. In the U.S., the bars are colored with Red No. 40, Yellow No. 6, and Blue No. 1. In the U.K., where food dyes are outlawed, the exact same cereal bar by Kellogg’s is colored with beetroot, annatto, and paprika extract.

Or, look at the strawberry shake sold by McDonald’s. That pretty pink color comes from Red dye No. 40 if you drink your shake in the U.S. But in Britain, the shake that goes by the same name is colored with concentrated beetroot juice.

Even Fanta orange soda is better for you in Britain. There, it’s dyed orange with pumpkin and carrot extract. The U.S. version is laced with Red 40 and Yellow 6.

Read labels!
It’s your only protection

Given the wide array of medical problems I had when I was young, I started reading ingredient labels at an early age. It’s a good habit to get into. By the time I hit the ripe old age of 60 I didn’t have to read labels much anymore because I had simply stopped buying processed, manufactured foods.

If you want to limit your exposure to potential carcinogens like 4-MeI and all the other toxins, stay away from products with ingredients like “caramel color,” “artificial color,” or anything with a number in the name (like “Red No. 3″). Especially stay away from Red No. 3, Citrus Red No. 2, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5, Yellow No. 6, Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, and Green No. 3. These dyes have compelling links to cancer development.

I’d also caution you to look past pretty pictures. Photos of brightly colored fruits on packaging might give you a false impression of what’s inside. Instead, always read the label. Or, shop at chains like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, which drastically limit the amount of foods they carry with artificial coloring.

There’s no question that the FDA needs to ban these toxic petrochemicals from all food. Then the food industry would be forced to use colors made with natural dyes. The safe alternatives include things like blueberry juice concentrate, carrot juice, paprika, grape skin extract, beet juice, purple sweet potato, corn, and red cabbage. They all sound delicious to me. But until their use is common, make sure you protect yourself by reading labels and boycotting artificially dyed foods.

There’s another point worth making here: When you hear about all the wonderful, cheap, abundant food we have here in the United States, think twice. “Cheap” is not “good.” It’s true the typical American family spends only 13 percent of its budget on food. In 1900 families spent a staggering 43 percent of their money just getting enough to eat.

Spending so little of our income on foods sounds like progress, but it’s not – at least not entirely. One of the reasons is that most of that inexpensive food comes out of a factory. We’re consuming some pink chemical in our strawberry shake, not the natural red of strawberries. And the farms themselves are factories – I don’t need to repeat all that for you today; I’m sure you’ve seen the horror stories: chickens or cattle crammed together with no space to move and stuffed with drugs to make them get fat faster, crops genetically modified and drenched in pesticides and herbicides.

I’m an avid radio listener and I keep hearing a public service commercial about how one child in 88 now has autism, a disease that virtually didn’t exist a hundred years ago. And I could mention five, ten or probably two dozen diseases in the same category.

If you don’t think nutrition has a lot to do with it, you’re fooling yourself.

So spending only 13 percent of your budget on food is NOT a good idea. Spend more and eat right. Here’s a benefit: It also tastes better.

I eat tons of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. As for meat, I eat it much less frequently than does the average American, but when I do eat meat it’s the finest cuts – grass fed beef, free range chicken, heritage pork richly marbled with tasty fat (unlike conventionally grown factory pork that has all the fat bred out of it and tastes like leather; in one of its sporadic, irrational efforts to help us “eat right,” mainstream medicine decided saturated fat was bad, and the pork industry obliged by breeding low-fat pigs. This was a disaster for flavor AND for health. And margarine – a factory food that’s a real killer – was another one of mainstream medicine’s brainstorms).

So if you’re ready to spend a bit more for healthier, tastier food, our last issue discussed one that’s worth spending some of those extra dollars on. It’s rich in nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids. If you missed it, please scroll down and read it now.

Eat This Powerful Seed for

Better Health

Remember the chia pet craze back in the 1980s? They were the clay figures sold as a base for chia seeds. Once watered, the seeds would sprout and cover the clay figure with “fur.” It was basically a house plant with a catchy jingle (remember it? Ch-ch-ch-chia!).

Three decades later, the chia seed has made a comeback. But instead of novelty plant pet, it’s become a popular health food—no doubt you’ve seen it promoted on grocery store shelves. And the popularity of chia seeds is only growing, largely because of health benefits we’re just beginning to identify. It seems chia seeds can help decrease your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Here’s how. . .

Continued below…

Inside This Week’s Video Exposé…


A top executive of a major pharmaceutical company spills the naked truth about the drugs you and your family take… which drugs heal, and which ones KILL… what doctors turn to when they don’t know the cure… what they do when they themselves or their loved ones are stricken with disease or illness… what life-saving resource they insist should be in every home. Watch this must-see video now because your life — or the life of your loved ones — may depend on it.


Not just rich in nutrients,
But also fills you up so you’re not hungry

Chia seeds come from the annual herb plant salvia hispanica, which is a flowering plant from the mint family. They have a long history of use as a medicinal herb, most notably by the Aztec culture that dominated Mexico before the arrival of Europeans. This means chia seeds been used more than 600 years.

In fact, they were considered a miracle food by native Mexican cultures—and with good reason.

The seeds themselves are rich in one of the omega-3 oils, alpha-linolenic acid. They’re a blend of brown, gray, black, and white on the surface, and when soaked become gel-like. That’s what gives beverages with chia such a distinctive texture.

The reason chia seeds turn into a gooey gel is that they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid. Dr. Bob Arnot, a celebrity “TV doctor” and author of The Aztec Diet, says this has a “lap band” effect that fills your stomach and helps you feel satisfied so you’re less likely to overeat.

Thanks to this effect, chia seeds deliver maximum nutrients—including antioxidants, dietary fiber, and zinc—but with minimal calories. They’re also incredibly high in protein, but without the high-fat content that comes from animal sources of protein.

You’ll find chia seeds are often compared to flax seeds, but there’s one notable difference. Unlike flax seeds, you don’t have to grind chia seeds to get the health benefits.

How chia seeds help fight cancer

It’s the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in chia seeds that help lower your risk of heart disease and play a role in cancer prevention. The seeds are believed to have a normalizing effect on insulin resistance, which is why they can help prevent Type 2 diabetes

A mouse-based study on chia’s cancer-fighting benefits appeared in the July 2007 issue of Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids. The researchers found the oil could potentially reduce tumor growth and metastasis in the glandular tissue of the breast. It does this by preventing mitosis, or the replication of cancer cells.

Another anti-cancer benefit of chia seeds is the fact that it has lignans. Plant lignans, which are classified as phytoestrogens, are believed to help reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer.

There’s more: A study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry at the beginning of 2012 showed alpha-linolenic acid could induce apoptosis in cervical cancer and breast cancer cells, and that it did so without damaging non-cancerous cells.

Easy to add to your daily diet

In general, chia seeds are considered a dietary supplement, and so are not regulated by the USDA. So it’s possible that omega 3 levels vary between brands. Regardless, you can buy chia seeds in bulk from just about any health food store. From there, add them to smoothies and yogurt, or sprinkle them over your breakfast cereal, salad, soups, or entrées. Or, you can even bake them right into dishes like meatloaf.

You can read more about the chia diet from Dr. Bob Arnot’s book, The Aztec Diet. He writes about “chia power” and calls it the “superfood that gets you skinny and keeps you healthy.” He recommends replacing breakfast with a chia shake – a blend of chia seeds, kale, Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, and a little honey.

Note: never eat the seeds from a chia pet, if you happen to have one lying around. Unlike chia seeds sold as food, the decorative ones aren’t cleaned and aren’t subject to the same regulatory process. And if you’re on blood-thinning medications, ask your doctor before eating large quantities of chia seeds. Because of their high omega-3 fatty acid levels, they can potentially increase the effects of blood thinners.

Another thing to be aware of is that the alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in both chia and flax seed appears to be of less value than the EPA and DHA omega 3 oils found in fish oils or krill. ALA is not actually an oil your body needs. It’s of value because the body converts it into EPA and DHA which the body DOES need – and apparently the conversion process is none too efficient. It takes a great deal of ALA to produce small amounts of EPA and DHA.

Animal-sourced fish and krill oils, on the other hand, are already rich in EPA and DHA that does not have to be converted and can be directly utilized by the body. You just need to be careful to purchase fish oils that are free of mercury (krill does not have this problem). It seems everything about oils is controversial and sometimes it’s hard to get to the bottom of things.

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Kindest regards,

Lee Euler,



“Caramel color: The health risk that may be in your soda.” Consumer Reports: Health, Updated 10 February 2014. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/01/caramel-color-the-health-risk-that-may-be-in-your-soda/index.htm
“Eeeeew! We’re eating WHAT??!” ConsumerReports.org: Shopping. Retrieved 9 March 2014. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/shopping/2011/june/ten-food-shockers/overview/index.htm
“Food Dyes: Are They Safe?” Dr. Oz.com, posted 13 March 2013. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/food-dyes-are-they-safe
“Food Dyes.” Center for Science in the Publish Interest Site: Food Dyes page. Retrieved 9 March 2014. http://www.cspinet.org/fooddyes/
“Food Dye and ADHD.” ADHD in Children Health Center. Web MD, Retrieved 9 March 2014. http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/food-dye-adhd
“Food dyes don’t need warning labels.”
“Food Dyes Linked to Allergies, ADHD and Cancer: Group Calls on US to Outlaw Their Use.” ByDavid W Freeman, CBS News, June 29, 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/food-dyes-linked-to-allergies-adhd-and-cancer-group-calls-on-us-to-outlaw-their-use/
“Food Dyes Linked to Cancer, ADHD, Allergies.” By Laurel Curren, Food Safety News. 8 July 2010. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/07/popular-food-dyes-linked-to-cancer-adhd-and-allergies/#.Ux4kZIWQqDc
“Is it really bad to add a little color to food?” By Erin Gudeux, ConsumerReports.org: Health. Retrieved 9 March 2014. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/03/is-it-really-bad-to-add-a-little-color-to-food/index.htm
“The Dangers of Artificial Food Colors.” By Neev M. Arnell, Natural News. http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-dangers-of-artificial-food-colors
About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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