Colors Natural and Artificial
The FDA does not require companies to disclose ingredients of color or flavor additives so long as all the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS ("generally recognized as safe") enabling companies to maintain secrecy of formulas. It also hides the fact that flavors often contain more ingredients than the foods to which they give taste. A typical artificial strawberry flavor contains over 30 chemicals. According to manufacturer safety data sheets those chemicals cause eye irritation, corneal damage, eye burns, skin irritation, severe / permanent damage to digestive tract, gastrointestinal irritation, gastrointestinal tract burns, CNS depression, neurological effects, liver abnormalities, cardiac abnormalities, or other harm. Natural flavor, according to the FDA, must be derived entirely from natural sources (herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, yeast, bark, roots, etc). Consumers prefer to see natural flavors on a label out of a belief they are more healthful. Natural flavor is not necessarily more healthful or purer than an artificial flavor. Almond flavor when derived from natural sources may contain traces of hydrogen cyanide, a deadly poison. When derived by mixing oil of clove & amyl acetate, it does not. Natural flavors and artificial flavors are often manufactured at same chemical plants. Flavor manufacturing may also involve biotechnology, using enzyme reactions, fermentation, & fungal and tissue cultures. Flavors created by these methods are considered natural flavors by the FDA. In addition to flavor chemicals also think about genetic engineering of food, DNA or gene alteration, and medicines and hormones given to cows, cattle, hogs, and chickens. What affect does it have upon us? Some are suspected causes of cancer or other problems. When a natural flavor or artificial flavor is added to a food or drink the resultant processed food is no longer natural & is potentially harmful. Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20030608101921/www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-bckg.html The use of the words "food color added," "natural color," or similar words containing the term "food" or "natural" may be erroneously interpreted to mean the color is a naturally occurring constituent in the food. Since all added colors result in an artificially colored food, we (ORA) would object to the declaration of any added color as "food" or "natural."