Artificial colors are commonly used in the food industry, especially in candy. Vegans do eat candy and more often than not I do come across a candy that contains these colors. Are these colors safe to consume and more importantly; are artificial colors vegan?
I would say that artificial colors are not vegan-friendly. The reasoning behind this is that animal testing is still beeing conducted. These articifical colors can also have a the negative impact to your health.
Let’s get into more details to find out more about these food colors.
Artificial Colors Explained
First of all, the internet is filled with fear stories that artificial food colors such as Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, are being used for animal testing.
The truth is they are being used for testing skin creams, cosmetics, and something you never thought about.
How about the fact that artificial colors are simply toxic? Believe it or not, animals are being tested with direct contact with these colors and dyes!
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine, openly admit they have made numerous rodent studies on these artificial colors.
It turns out, that they might have helped expose something that these colors all have in common. And that is because these colors can be hazardous to your health.
It’s all part of animal testing that keeps artificial colors such as Red #3 from causing cancer in people!
As a result, Red #3 is not in food anymore, and it is not allowed to be used anymore for food coloring. They have also determined that Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 are often contaminated with Benzidine and carcinogens.
It should also be mentioned that Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6, can all cause hypersensitivity reactions. Yet these were all discovered through animal testing.
Benzidine is a known carcinogen that can cause Liver cancer. It makes its way into food colors that are produced overseas.
Many of these colors are coming from factories in China or India where these countries aren’t closely monitored.
Why Are Artificial Colors Not Vegan?
This is a question that is a touchy subject among vegans that has more to do with the animal testing outcry. Yes, these colors are indeed tested on animals, the NCBI and the NLM both admit and confirm their testing for the safety of human life.
When it comes to the ingestion of these artificial colors, it can lead to health problems. These are health problems that don’t just affect Vegans or Vegetarians but everyone else who consumes these products as well.
There is nothing in artificial colors Red #40, Blue #1, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6, that are non-vegan on the surface, but as long as animal testing occurs it will remain a non-vegan ingredient.
There will be those who sit on the fence on this issue but considering that these are for product that applies to cosmetics only.
While artificially colored food is tested on animals, this is routinely done to ensure that people do not get sick.
Furthermore, I don’t recommend that artificial colors are 100% safe for containing trace elements of Benzidine and other carcinogens for that reason alone.