IACM says synthetic color additives are safe

12 May 2017

The International Association of Color Manufacturers (IACM) recently released three studies that are said to confirm prior assumptions that synthetic color additives are safe for human consumption.

IACM says synthetic color additives are safe

The International Association of Color Manufacturers (IACM) recently released three studies that are said to confirm prior assumptions that synthetic color additives are safe for human consumption. Founded in 1972 by color industry leaders as the Certified Color Manufacturers Association, IACM continues to be a strong voice in support of the safe use of color additives. The organization says that it is respected by regulatory bodies worldwide for its unparalleled knowledge and access to leading scientific researchers and color industry experts.

One of IACM’s three manuscripts, “Estimated daily intake and safety of FD&C food-colour additives in the US population,” records the estimated consumer intake of color additives, and shows that it is insignificant compared to acceptable daily intake established by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.

“The findings are intended to allay consumer concerns that may have developed due to a lack of sufficient information,” said Dr. Maria Bastaki, Scientific Director at IACM. The manuscript found that continued use of these synthetic color additives is safe even with high intake levels, which still register far below the safe daily level established by expert bodies such as JECFA.

In addition, results of studies that examined the possibility of genotoxic activity of Tartrazine and Allura Red AC reaffirmed their safety. Two manuscripts, titled “Lack of genotoxicity in vivo for food color additive Tartrazine” and “Lack of genotoxicity in vivo for food color additive Allura Red AC,” describe the studies for the two colors that were conducted in response to a 2013 opinion released by the European Food Safety Authority, which questioned the colors’ possible genotoxicity. Additional manuscripts describing similar studies conducted for other colors will follow.

“The data presented in these manuscripts fill a literature void of studies conducted according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines. If available publications report findings that indicate toxicity while their limitations are not communicated outside the scientific community, they negatively and needlessly skew public perception against synthetic colors,” said Dr. Bastaki, who authored the manuscripts along with a team of scientists from Bioreliance, who conducted the study, and IACM member companies. “IACM’s intent in commissioning these studies is to generate high-quality studies that provide reliable and accurate data, and make them accessible in the body of literature for the scientific community, regulators, and consumers alike. Doing so will help facilitate a more informed discourse on the safety of colors, while continuing our tradition of supporting the safe use of color additives.”