Oct 06, 2023

'They're not natural:' Could a red dye ban be seen in Virginia?

NORFOLK, Va. - The governor of California recently signed a bill banning three food additives, as well as red dye #3, which has sparked a conversation on if Virginians could see something similar.

“I do think there is a big push now for this to be coming back to the table, for us to look at it, for there to be better control over what we are feeding the youth of our nation,” said dietitian Kelly Honeycutt.

Honeycutt works for Sentara. She said food additives are not naturally occurring items that are added to food to prolong shelf life or make food more appealing, particularly red dye #3.

“It provides a bright cherry red color to foods and that makes it look pretty to the consumer, it makes us want to buy it," said Honeycutt.

She said there are health risks like neuro-divergent behavior and certain cancers.

“The red dye #3 in particular was banned for use in topical lotions and cosmetics back in 1990,” said Honeycutt.

She said additives tend to be in processed foods geared towards kids.

“The dose makes the poison so to speak, and these children have young, smaller body weights so how much are they really getting... it’s hard to say,” said Honeycutt.

If you're looking to avoid dyes and additives, health experts say to pick food that's in its most natural form, with as few ingredients as possible.

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