The Side Effects of Tartrazine

Certain food additives are dangerous to our children, but who would have thought that the dyes used would be dangerous? I grew up using food coloring in frosting, decorating cookies and cakes…I don’t even know what else my mother used it on. So the fact that artificial coloring is so dangerous to our health was a surprise.

Of course, the food coloring that we all grew up using isn’t the same thing as the artificial colors used in processed foods. Tartrazine, also known as FD&C Yellow #5 or E102, is one of these artificial coloring additives. This is one we don’t want to give to our kids, so avoid it like it’s the plague!

Tartrazine doesn’t even sound appetizing when you learn what it’s made from! As with most artificial colors, it is manufactured from coal tar; hmmm, yummy! BLECH!

I keep mentioning the fact that ADHD is not a disease, it’s merely caused by a poor diet loaded with all kinds of nasty, dangerous additives. I’ve told you how pesticides, MSG, BHA & BHT and refined sugar are all contributing to the fact that our children are hyperactive. Well, guess what? Now there’s another additive causing hyperactivity in our children: Tartrazine.

Sadly, this isn’t the only side effect that FD&C Yellow #5 has…it has also been linked to asthma, migraines, thyroid cancer, anxiety, clinical depression, blurred vision, purple spots on your skin and unexplainable itchy skin.

Do I really have to tell you WHY it’s used when the food industries are aware of its side effects? OK, I will, Tartrazine is still used because it’s cheap. Beta Carotene could be used to achieve the same color results as Tartrazine, but it’s more expensive. Bottom line: as with all other harmful food additives, the food industry continues to use this harmful artificial coloring because it is CHEAP.

Tartrazine is found in a LOT of products, cereals, desserts, snack foods, shampoos and even cosmetics can all contain this harmful colorant. All you have to do is check the labels before you buy!

While checking the labels of everything at the grocery store may seem like a pain in the ass, think about how much of a pain in the ass it would be if your child were to end up sick and in the hospital or, if you have a child that has “diagnosed” with ADHD, think about how nice it would be to have a less hyperactive child.


  1. Roxane on July 16, 2014 at 2:54 am

    I never knew that it was so dangerous, and here i was eating M&M’s and Zillions that contains Tartrazine. I have 2 hyperactive kids,one is very lazy when it comes to doing something other than play , and the other brilliant in school, but cant sit still.
    I will definitely look at the food i buy from now on.

    Roxane (SA)

  2. jamie on January 6, 2015 at 6:24 am

    So thats the reason why me and my cousins stayed like 5am. We drank bottle mountain dew. So thats the reason. And i was like drinking it right now. I drank 3 cans. It has caffeine and this so called tartrazine. Is it like drugs??

  3. sharon mautsi on January 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    i have learnt a little bit on this topic at school and I have read your article and I like it. it is very educational and I will use it because I am carrying out a school project on tartrazine.many thanks for the article

  4. Vanessa on January 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I try to look up everything in any kind of processed food I give our 20 month old son before giving it to him since we make 99% of his food from scratch (we’re trying to get off the processed track for food as a family, but we’re really starting hard on him). I just realized that the Pickles I give him as a treat every once in a while has this in it. Looks like I’ll be looking way more carefully at the pickle lables from now on.

  5. Freda MacDonald on January 30, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I have just heard about this….a lady mentioned to me that Kraft Dinner and cheese slices also contain this yellow dye #5. Is this so?

  6. saziwe on October 2, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I actually googled tartrazine with my kids so they understand why I constantly tell them to eat only tartrazine free food the little souls were shocked and promised to only eat tartrazine free food and snacks.

  7. Ralph Meyer on October 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    The level of tartrazine in KD and other products is so minimal. You would die sooner crossing the street or living in a projects district than eating kd etc.

  8. Christina Grover on November 11, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Tartrazine is known to cause add/adhd and then the medications they want us to give our children also use the food colorant tartrazine. Reading brought tears to my eyes. The government that is suppose to protect us is only protecting big money companies. It’s an endless cycle of greed.

  9. DMAN on November 26, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Proof? Or are you just a bandwagon/talker?

  10. nelly on January 22, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    so it only affects kids only or all ages.

  11. Peggy Phillips on February 9, 2016 at 10:20 am

    It should be made illegal to use this colourant and many others such as Carmoisine, Quinoline Yellow, Ponceau red etc. It is criminal to add it to food and even more criminal to add it to medications – which is another of its uses. Azo dyes are made from coal tar and are not meant for ingestion by any means.

  12. Jodi on February 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Hello:) when my daughter was very young she would go from being a ray of sunshine to these explosive emotional fits! It took several years before I realized the connection between these fits and food! When she was 4 yrs old, she once piled up all of her “Frozen” toys and clothes and said she didn’t like anything her mommy ever got her. By 4 1/2 she went through a fit where she decided she “couldn’t live in her house” so she was going to run away but was upset because “the pumpkins were taking up to much room on the front porch, so how could she live there too?” This is a really sweet little girl, until she’s not, and then watch out! Needless to say, between 4 and 4 1/2 I began connecting the dots between her food and her personality changes! YELLOW DYE was the problem!!! Today, at 6 yrs old, she refuses to eat anything that might have Yellow in it! She reminds me to double check labels, it’s must REALLY make her feel bad because she passes up all kinds of treats at Kindergarten (on her own) if she thinks they might have Yellow! She has even “debated” with her teacher who often insists something is Yellow free!

    Thanks for your article, I wasn’t familiar with the deeper health issues related to these dyes but it doesn’t surprise me one bit!! I’m am SOOO glad to see so much info on food dyes, sometimes people think I’m the crazy mom making up reasons for my kids meltdowns! The truth is, I know her happy, sad, angry, tired and “yellow” moods!! It is literally a MOOD!!

    P.S. did you know that Dominos Pizza has Yellow in the seasoned butter they brush on their crust? Took awhile to find THAT info online! They all bury the ingredients so deep somehow?!?!

  13. Makhosazana on February 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    most product that have tartrazine are cheap .. let us stop killing our children.

  14. Nolundi on February 23, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I strongly believe Tartrazine colourant shuold be totally banned because most people are not aware of what they eat can contain dangers to human health. Most people are uneducated enough to be exposed to such danders and even the educated ones are ignorant to take note of the ingredients contained by the food they eat. Tartrazine free foods can be expensive as a results that low income people can not afford to buy it and eat healthy. the producers should clear their conscious and start considering people’s lives instead of profit. This is killing our peole, the future generation to contribute to the countries economy.

  15. Ruwo Tawanda on March 3, 2016 at 6:08 am

    thnx hw would i hev knwn
    I really appreciate yo concern fo enlightng th world

  16. David on March 4, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    one thing that contains tartrazine is….” Hawkins Cheezies” I used to really like them.

  17. Ric Peca on March 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I just purchased 8 boxes of Kraft Dinner because they advertise on TV that they changed their ingredients to “natural” products. All of the boxes I purchased have tartrazine in them, this is nothing short of fraud.

  18. Jake Hilton on March 24, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I am addicted to Hawkins Cheesies. Thanks to the information I am no longer addicted.

  19. david n laibe on April 2, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I associate this, and its cousins, with diorreah and recxtal bleeding,
    Usually of 23/36 hours duration; on one occation of 2 weeks duration.

    I avoid ‘fruit drinks’ (under UK regulations) but occasionally get caught
    with preserved meat / fish products.which have undisclosed additives.

  20. Luke on April 3, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Wow! I did not no it was bad! I been eating the candy called pop rocks. It made my stomach hurt & was full of gas so I googled tartrazion & it blew my mind how bad it is for the body.

  21. Sheikh Ahmad Oyan on April 19, 2016 at 11:47 am

    God Bless u (amen)

  22. Molise on May 25, 2016 at 5:27 am


  23. Daniel on June 5, 2016 at 7:23 am

    I have recently turned angry advocate when I drank the remaining 1/8 bottle of red food coloring on behalf of my 6 year old son. Same stuff you add to your cakes and frosting. I suspected behavioral issues related to dye. I dribbled the remainder into a glass of water and drank it. It was very red; more than a serving, but I had been researching neuroscience and toxicity for nearly two years, and I wanted to know what would happen.

    within 30 minutes I was pacing the room, with an accelerated heart rate and a furious sense of despondent depression, anger and rage. I wanted to punch the cat; I felt like a boxer bouncing in the ring before a fight. This does not describe me. Fortunately, I am a very smart and capable researcher, I knew what was happening, and I recorded the findings. It wore off in 3 hours.

    For all of our appeal to take toxins out of food, and the blind and baffling insistence that they are safe to eat, and safe for our kids, I can shut down any argument by challenging my opponent to drink a bottle of that “safe” substance. Works every time. Guaranteed worst night of their life.

    Keep up the fight. Sometimes the right argument can turn the public opinion once and for all. I’ve done my part, but for all those naysayers, I say bottoms up; have a drink for your kids and prepare to have your opinion changed once and for all.

  24. Ali on June 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for the advice. I found this ingredient in a popular biscuit in Pakistan called “Sooper egg and milk cookies by Peak Freans” nothing sooper about them.

  25. Priscilla Soliz on June 16, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you, so helpful. I couldn’t understand why I am feeling anxious until I looked at the ingredients in a sauce I’ve used before. It seems they’ve added FD&C Yellow #5. Guess I won’t be using this anymore.

  26. jocelyn on June 19, 2016 at 5:20 am

    So what shall we do with this product,why our food and drugs adm will not concern this product or the factory?

  27. Marc on July 18, 2016 at 1:59 am

    correlation does not imply causation

  28. Jake bog on July 31, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Right when I was gonna make some KD… guess that’s not happening again

  29. Petrina on January 16, 2017 at 7:04 am

    i am glad that one of my niece is doing pharmacist and just this holiday that she told me about tartrazine and how dangerous is…this is killing our nation without knowing it.

  30. Mikayla on February 9, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Your a fucking dumb ass for thinking ADHD isn’t a disorder, your born with it.. you can’t get it from food ?

  31. Huh? on February 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Uhhhh, ADHD is not a disease and it’s caused by a poor diet loaded with additives? The only thing correct in that statement is that it’s not a disease. It’s a disorder.
    Someone very dear to me has it and eats nothing but whole, healthy foods and a balanced diet. Stop spreading misinformation.

  32. Chizurum on February 27, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I just decided to look trough the ingredients on my favorite noodles and BAM! i see tartrazine. Wondering what that is i check online and this has been so helpful. i’m so scared how much of this i’ve consumed.

  33. B on March 1, 2017 at 3:46 am

    “Think about how nice it would be to have a less hyperactive child” I know children really drains your energy sometimes but your child having a mental disorder/ ‘side effect’ shouldnt be a burden to you. You are the parent, its your job to take care of them, not complain because you signed up for a child.

  34. mag on March 1, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    bbbadddd stufff

  35. Peter Pasqua on March 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    40 years ago it was discovered that yellow #5 (Tartrazine) was causing problems. Asthma patients had a white pill they took during an attack, the pill was change to a yellow color, using yellow #5 which caused adverse reactions to asthma patients. During this period I had developed a severe hive problems, on 2 occasions I had to go to the hospital because of hives in my throat. It was finally discovered that a pill I was prescribed was coated with the yellow #5 dye causing the hives to develop in my windpipe. To this day I check all ingredients on medication, I check both active and inactive ingredients. It is in a lot of food, this was causing my overall hive problem. I read all ingredients and have for the past 40 years. Usually the dyes are listed at the bottom of the list, however it more than one item such as icing is used on a cake, it may be at the end of the icing ingredients which may be the first item listed. I cannot believe the amount of people who think it is okay to drink Mt Dew, not only is it loaded with caffeine but yellow #5, and they wonder why they and their kids are edgy and hyper. Yellow #5 (tartrazine) must be banned. Yellow #5 and Red 40 are the only two dyes that must be listed in food if used, if they are not in the ingredients the manufacture only needs to state food coloring added.

  36. Food Scientist on March 19, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Hi All,

    I am a food scientist, studying the effects of food additives, particularly colouring. Before I start my study I like to google the everyday sites and the non- peer reviewed websites to gain a general idea.
    I am very much interested in these claims. Could you please reference some of these studies so that I may do the appropriate research. Unfortunately it is difficult to gain traction without it.

    I can’t stress enough, I am not here to judge, I am genuine about my research.

    I was like you once, ever concerned about what I was putting into my body and what the effects were and communicate to the web community. Instead I found the best way to make a true difference and influence the industry was to learn more about it, gain a university degree in Food science. This was I may be taken seriously and not simply regarded as a keyboard warrior.

    I implore you all to do the same, so that we can truly make legitimately understand the implications.

  37. Taryn on April 6, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Thank goodness some cares !
    I try not eat foods or use products with this ingredient them .

  38. Taryn on April 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Thank goodness someone cares. I try not to eat or use products with this ingredient in them.

  39. K on April 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    My son is ASD (Aspergers) and we try to keep him from anything containing RED 40 and YELLOW 5 at all costs. We have directly linked YELLOW 5 to hyperactivity ( and that is an understatement) you can literally tell when he has had it. RED 40 is directly linked to mood, he becomes violent and sad very rapidly and uncontrollably and is very extreme. It is sad to say that unless you get everything in its raw form and avoid all processed foods it is impossible to cut them out completely so we have to closely monitor him.

  40. Kathleen on April 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    My friend gets severe head aches from yellow # 5 , tartrazine there are so many products that its in ,and its like being a private detective to make sure your yellow # 5 free , but even the medication given for this reaction has tratrazine in it , it should be banned in the united states, and everywhere humans live .

  41. David on May 18, 2017 at 9:32 am

    You need to do some more research because I see nothing you said back up by factual scientific data. You have no idea what your talking about.

  42. angelina alcantar on May 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    omg,i never knew this could happen!!!!really stop killing my kids!!!!!

  43. Hanna on May 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Tartrazine is bad for you, the way it is processed and made is less than ideal. But eating food does not cause ADHD OR ADD and putting these two together is offensive and wrong! People with these disorders may link tartrazine to one of the foods that makes their disorder WORSE, but it has not been proven to cause this!! Stay informed, people!

  44. Sarah on May 28, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Tartrazine has luckily been banned in the uk since the early 90’s. I still find it in some foods though. I’m 37. It affects me by making me violently sick and then lethargic the next day. I know other’s it makes hyper. It should be banned world wide

  45. Rodney on May 31, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Yellow #5 is approved as Safe by the FD&C, This site has no evidence of claims. Anybody can say anything they make up in their head just to get hits on their site.. Sad…

  46. De Crews on June 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I will have to say that you may want to added reseach on some of the generalization you give when saying term such as all.
    I have extreme allergies two of which are yellow and red food dye. And due to a higher IQ and the rate at which my brain goes all the time and the ability to focus and get anything accomplished. After years or suffering through this having difficulty in school keeping jobs and social interactions, my Dr and I discussed being tested to ADHD. The medication I take is Blue has no red or yellow dye in it. Trust me I would no. I grew up poor not alot of money i have been allergic to milk eggs and chocolate most of my life. Later in finding out that is it more allergic to the chemicals given the animals. I have not had chocolate in 35 years, unless I make desserts from scratch I dont eat them. There are alot of fruits and vegetables that I can not eat due to being injected with dye to appear ripe.
    So saying that the junk we eat is what causes it, is not true. If I even touch red or yellow and it gets on my skin I have a reaction within 5 minutes. I have had my upper nose area between my eyes completely close up due to yellow.
    Having red in a drink ( which in both cases have asked for ingredients first) and given food that had a egg wash. My throat closed up to were i could not speak.

  47. Yvz on June 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Nice sources. Keep up the fear mongering! Best parenting tactic is to transfer the blame of your own bad parenting onto something like “food additives” or “big pharma” or some other air-head buzzwords.

  48. Ele on July 6, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Just wanted to comment.. ADHD in many children is hereditary (they’re born with the disorder) and it is because one or both of the parents have consumed ADHD causing food or dyes or medications in their life, it creates a change internally, also not ruling out environmental factors like toxins or pollution. Then thete are many children who either become ADHD from consuming the ADHD causing foods or dyes or medications, as well as many children who only have symptoms of ADHD but could treat this by not consuming these toxins anymore. If you do not know about ADHD then don’t speak on the matter. If you are one of those people who think ADHD is not a real thing or is just about hyper children, you are very misinformed.
    Things will not change for us sadly, the government and food industry will never make food truly safe for anyone, because the bottom line is money, not people. The only way to know what you are putting into your body and to be safer, is to make food from scratch, but beware that many of the ingredients you will use, most likely contain similar unsafe things.
    Nearly everything you purchase has dyes and additives and preservatives and chemicals and unnecessary things.
    Good luck to everyone. May the odds be ever in your favour. Ahahah.
    Ps. Don’t ever tell a parent of a child with ADHD or other disorder that they aren’t allowed to feel overwhelmed or frustrated. It is and can be one of the most difficult and frustrating, energy-darining, push you to your breaking point (daily) life altering things to have to deal with. People can get through it a lot better with support, not judgement from misinformed people. It’s completely ok to feel like it sucks. But you can and will get through it. x

  49. Cheems on July 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Well technically tar is natural so that’s why they are allowed to say it on there. Technically they can call anything natural if it comes from the earth, which everything does.

    I think if you ate it all the time, you could have issues, but for the little amount that’s actually in it, you’ll be alright. Your body does a pretty good job of getting rid of waste products and absorbing nutrients. As far as it causing adhd etc, there is no reason it would.

    Have you ever thought that in fact, ever kid is different. Maybe instead of trying to diagnose your kid with something, look at the positive aspects of their energetic personality, because that’s all it is.

  50. Edna Wiebe on July 18, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    My 25 year old daughter bought some yellow eyeshadow. She looked great but then her eye lids started to itch and to swell up. She knew right away it was an allergic reaction. After she got it off she researched the ingredients, yep yellow lake #5 tartrazine. She can’t eat things with that in it. But she didn’t realize the coloring in eyeshadow had it.

Leave a Comment