MEDIA ALERT: Food Colors and Hyperactivity

Contact Info: 

Contact Matt Raymond or Jania Matthews at 202-296-6540 or

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will conduct a public meeting on March 30 -31 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to establish a link between children's consumption of synthetic color additives and adverse effects on their behavior. Today, to provide helpful background and context on this topic in advance of the FDA meeting, the International Food Information Council Foundation held a special webcast for journalists.

As discussed during the webcast by Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, FADA, Director of the Nutrition Clinic at Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “There is considerable misinterpretation of recent research linking food colors and hyperactivity. At first glance, a study may appear to show an association, but when you consider other important factors that could be responsible for the results, such as gender, maternal education level, pretrial diet, and other factors, it becomes impossible to affirm that the change in behavior was due to food colors.”

International Food Information Council Foundation experts will continue to be available both before and after the FDA meeting to discuss various aspects of food colors:

Joseph F. Borzelleca, PhD    
Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology    
School of Medicine
Virginia Commonwealth University    
PH: 804/285-2004    
Expertise: Science around safety of food colors

Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, FADA
Associate Professor
Dept. of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine
PH: 718/430-3970 Ext. 6412
Expertise: Food colors and ADHD, 25 years of clinical practice in pediatric nutrition

Ronald A. Simon, MD    
Head, Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology    
Scripps Clinic     
PH: 858/554-8618    
Expertise: Adverse reactions to foods, sensitivity to foods

Sharyn Rhodes, PhD
Associate Professor, Special Education
Loyola University
PH: 410/458-6500
Expertise: ADHD, Certified Parent to Parent Teacher

Additional International Food Information Council Foundation Resources on Food Colors include:

Hot Topic: Food Colors

Food Ingredients & Colors

Q&A: Do Food Colors Cause Hyperactivity?

As always, if you would like assistance in locating other nutrition or food safety experts or additional resources, please contact Eric Mittenthal ( or Jania Matthews ( at 202-296-6540.