The yellow liquid mined from the earth for the aim of gasoline and motor oil production is petroleum. In many cases it is later refined and used in many food products that are found in the grocery stores, most of them being marketed towards children.

The by-products of petroleum are often consumed in the shape of bright food coloring, flavoring and preservatives, all found in the processed snacks. Some of the most popular variations are yellow dye #5 and red dye #40.

At the moment, the FDA does not pay attention to the petroleum products used in the food Americans consume, even though many of them are outlawed in other countries because of the risks they pose to people.

Actually, artificial food dye has the following impacts on people, according to recent studies:

birth defects
chromosomal damage
organ damage

Food dyes are also full of different impurities. Actually, these substances are so poisonous, that in Britain and in the countries of the European Union the use of these substances in food are banned since 2009 and 2010, respectively.

About 90 percent of the dyes used in foods are red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6.

People even dip fresh oranges before selling them in order to brighten them and provide uniform color, explains Michael Jacobson, executive director at CSPI.

Red 40 has been shown to lead to immune-system tumors in mice, as well as allergies and hyperactivity in children.

Yellow 5 has almost the same effects as red 40, but it also contains multiple carcinogenic substances and it has been related to organ damage.

Yellow 6 can cause hypersensitivity in children and adrenal tumors in animals, as the studies show.

The list of popular children’s food that contains these substances is the following:

1. Pop Tarts
On the Kellogg website, the nutritionists have said that the best known flavor, frosted strawberry, contains numerous harmful ingredients.

Let us begin with corn syrup, high in fructose, dextrose and sugar in the first seven ingredients. These products have all been related to childhood diabetes, liver issues and sugar addiction.

This product also contains TBHQ, a product base on petroleum shown to do harm to the human DNA and to cause cellular dysfunction.

It also leads to tumors, liver enlargement, convulsions, vision loss, neurotoxic effects, and paralysis, as laboratory animal studies show.

2. Fruit Snacks
Many snacks based on fruit are being advertised as healthy snacks, like jam-filled cereal bars for instance, but they actually contain a lot food coloring to make them look more appealing.

One of the most used colorings is red 3, which is worrisome, as its use has been banned in cosmetic products because it causes thyroid tumors.

3. M&Ms
These chocolates contain red 40, yellow 5 and yellow 6, as well as blue 2 for their coloring, but this substance causes tumors in the brain and the bladder. They also contain blue 1, a substance that stops the development of nerve cells.

4. Cheetos
These snacks are orange, due to the yellow 6 coloring, and they also contain an artificial flavor mix made of other toxic substances.

The ‘flaming hot’ variety is even believed to cause gastritis, abdominal distress, and dependency similar to addiction in both adults and children.

5. Teddy Grams
These snacks look harmless, but they usually contain TBHQ, which as we previously mentioned, has bad effects, including vomiting, nausea, delirium, anxiety and stomach cancer.

Luckily, there are natural and organic substitutions for these snacks you can either buy or make at home. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also do.

Those alternatives have much greater nutritive value and keep you full longer, compared to the ones on the list.

If you are worried about your child’s exposure to the above mentioned dyes, always read the labels on the products before buying them. Read the labels on almost all products, including toothpastes, shampoos, laundry detergents, hand creams, cough syrups, and vitamins, as they often contain similar toxic dyes.