WASHINGTON, D.C. –
The FDA has announced blue dye No. 1 will be phased out of US markets by the end of 2018. The popular dye is used to color everything from blue M&Ms to Listerine.
The dye is a byproduct of coal, and is referred to as a “brilliant blue.” Typical of modern dyes, blue number 1 was originally derived from coal tar, although most manufacturers now make it from an oil base. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other advocacy organizations have long argued that these and other artificial colorings may be linked to attention deficit disorder, and now the dye has been determined to be carcinogenic.
“We have decided that it is best to ban blue dye No. 1 from all consumer products,” said FDA spokesman Bill Hicks. “At this time, though, it is only linked to mild cancers, like finger cancer or maybe toe cancer, so it’s not going to be removed from market immediately. We are allowing ample time for manufacturers to use the dye they may have already purchased before working on new ways to dye their products.”