IACM recently published two studies in Food and Chemical Toxicology, which were undertaken in response to a 2013 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion that recommended that new tests be carried out to address uncertainties related to the color’s possible genotoxicity.
The opinion was specific to Allura Red, but the recommendation applied to 5 other azo dyes: Amaranth, Ponceau 4R, Sunset Yellow FCF, Tartrazine and Azorubine/Carmoisine. IACM conducted studies on three of the six to address EFSA’s concerns. The Allura Red (Lack of genotoxicity in vivo for food color additive Allura Red AC) and Tartrazine (Lack of genotoxicity in vivo for food color additive Tartrazine) studies have now been published, with Ponceau 4R still to come.
While IACM and its members have historically conducted these studies to fulfill regulatory requests for data, there was little effort in the past to publish them. Due to continued challenges to the safety and value of synthetic colors, there was clear need to generate high quality studies that provide reliable and accurate data. IACM will continue to publish recent and future studies to make them accessible in the body of literature for the scientific community, regulators, and consumers to facilitate a more informed discourse on the safety of colors.