Sudan Red and Mountain Dew Code Red

The scare over food additives from Asia continues to grow. Melamine has now been found in both chicken feed and fish feed. It has almost certainly entered the human food supply.

Today the Wall Street Journal reports on the practice of Asian countries adding other dangerous food additives. Formaldehyde, boric acid and Sudan Red (a food coloring) are common additives in Asian countries.

With the exception of Sudan Red, which has been found in chili powders, there is no evidence that these dangerous food additives have found their way into our food supplies.

According to Irishhealth.com Sudan Red “is an industrial red dye that is used for coloring solvents, oils waxes, petrol and shoe and floor polishes.” “Human ignorance as well as greed knows no bounds” said Gerald Moy of the World Health Organization.

Now before we get so smug about ignorance in Asian countries, the following is a list of ingredients in Mountain Dew Code Red: “CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CONCENTRATED ORANGE JUICE, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), CAFFEINE, SODIUM CITRATE, GUM ARABIC, ERYTHORBIC ACID (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), RED 40, POTASSIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1.” I could have singled out other soft drinks, but I chose Mountain Dew Code Red because it is popular, and because there is no particular reason that it be colored red.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sudan Red is added to drinks in Asia are to make them look more attractive. I suppose it is the same ignorance that causes Pepsi to add three different artificial colors to Mountain Dew. These additives have been linked to hyperactivity in children. Mountain Dew Code Red also contains brominated vegetable oil, which has been linked, according to Wikipedia, to teenage obesity and psychosis.

Speaking of obesity, a 20 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red contains 77 g of sugar. Drinkers of Mountain Dew might drink several bottles a day. This is enormous load of sugar for the body to process and not only contributes to obesity but also contributes to tooth decay and the epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

Incomes in Asia are much lower than in the United States. A teenager or young adult, living in Asia, might only consume an occasional drink, from a street vendor, containing Sudan Red. A consumer in the United States with higher discretionary income may consume far more Mountain Dew Code Red.

Sudan Red is a poison and should be kept out of our food supply. There are legal substances in our food supply, such as Code Red that each of us must take responsibility to decide if they are health enhancing or dangerous. Relying on the government to determine the safety of a food item can be a very dangerous to your health.

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One Response to Sudan Red and Mountain Dew Code Red

  1. Gerald Moy says:

    Dear Barry,

    I just stumbled across you Sudan Red blog from last May. My comment about stupid and greedy was related to the use of carcinogenic textile dyes in drinks used by street vendors and not about Sudan Red which WHO has viewed as a technical violation rather than a safety concern. I was miscontexted once already so I thought I would set the record straight. Thanks,

    Gerald Moy

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