The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an advisory committee meeting to “discuss whether available relevant data demonstrate a link between children’s consumption of synthetic color additives in food and adverse effects on behavior.” FDA plans to provide background material no later than two business days before the March 30-31, 2011, public meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Calling the news “welcome and overdue,” Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Executive Director Michael Jacobson said that the meeting was in response to CSPI’s 2008 petition calling for FDA to ban Yellow 5, Red 50 and six other food dyes. The dyes “have long been shown in numerous clinical studies to impair children’s behavior,” Jacobson said. “But for years—FDA— which actually commissioned one of the first controlled studies—dismissed the mounting evidence against the dyes.” See Federal Register and CSPI News Release, December 1, 2010.