June 1, 2009
Group wants insect parts out of food color
A Washington watchdog group applauded a new labeling rule governing food coloring made from insect parts but its leaders still want the substance banned.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new regulation, set to take effect in January 2011, that will require companies that use the dried bodies of cochineal insects to create food dyes to list the ingredient on their labels. Previously, foods containing cochineal usually listed only
artificial colors or
color added to note its presence.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which lobbied the FDA on the subject, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the campaign was sparked by a University of Michigan allergist who discovered the additives cause severe allergic reactions in some people.
The group lauded the FDA's decision, but said the new rule does not go far enough in forcing companies to explicitly state on labels that the products contain insects, the newspaper reported Monday. Officials with the watchdog group said that information could be important to people with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians and observant Jews and Muslims.
The center said it is seeking to have cochineal products banned as food ingredients.