British researchers found that a mixture of certain food colours could be linked to an adverse effect on the behaviour of hyperactive children.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been informed by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) about these findings which also include the preservative sodium benzoate.
These colours are already under consideration by EFSA as part of a re-evaluation of the safety of all food colours.
EFSA’s AFC Panel will consider these new findings taking into account other available scientific evidence on colours and behavioural effects. At its next plenary meeting end September the AFC Panel will assess these findings and consider whether any further work is required.
The Southampton study was commissioned by the FSA. The UK’s independent scientific expert advisers on this issue, the Committee on toxicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment (COT), has evaluated the study and provided a comprehensive statement.
The AFC Panel is currently undertaking a re-evaluation on the safety of all food colours, authorised in the European Union (EU), on a case-by-case basis. The colours used in the Southampton study are included in EFSA’s re-evaluation mandate.
Source: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)