For decades, researchers have been studying the connection between food dyes and hyperactivity in children, and also links to cancer.

How worried should you be about your Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?

A lawmaker in California recently unveiled a proposal to ban foods from schools if they contain artificial dyes, including Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, as well as titanium dioxide. This could apply to sports drinks, breakfast cereals, chips and candy. Separately, California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a law banning the sale of foods and drinks with certain ingredients, including Red No. 3.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for performing safety checks and issuing guidance for food manufacturers on which dyes are and aren’t safe for consumption. Though experts say that food dye use is generally safe, there’s growing concern about consuming the colourings. Outside of the U.S., for example, further measures have been implemented. The Guardian reported that in the European Union and the United Kingdom, “food containing synthetic dyes must carry warning labels indicating the ingredients ‘may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.’”

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