Cancer warning over food colour

London: The UK’s Food Standards Agency has warned that Sunset Yellow (artificial food colouring E110) found in children’s sweets and processed foods, could include a contaminant linked to cancer.

The FSA says that the production process for Sunset Yellow could inadvertently create a second illegal chemical called Sudan 1. An FSA spokesperson said that the levels found were low and would be diluted further in any food product. The FSA has contacted the Indian manufacturer of the colouring, which has agreed to modify its manufacturing process to eliminate the creation of Sudan 1.

Sunset Yellow is used in sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, sauces and pickles. It is also used in curry restaurants. While Sudan 1 is used in industrial products and shoe polish.

Sunset Yellow is thought to trigger allergic reactions such as hives and skin-swelling known as angioedema, gastric problems and vomiting.

Earlier this year thousands of products were withdrawn from UK supermarkets after it was discovered that many foods had been contaminated with Sudan 1 imported from India in chilli powder.