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The Latest Health News on BPA, Food Dyes, and Health Claims

Love In Spoonfuls

A few important health news bytes have been making headlines lately. Here's what you need to know:

Banning BPA

The dangers of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) are already well-known, and now some states are moving to ban its use altogether. Maryland became the fourth state to ban it, after Minnesota, Illinois and Connecticut. Following the California State Senate's approval of a bill banning BPA from feeding products (formula included) made for children 3 years or younger, the California State Assembly also voted to ban it, ultimately moving the Toxin-Free Toddlers and Babies Act closer to the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has yet to take a position on the bill.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has also moved to sue the FDA for failing to act on its 2008 petition to ban the use of BPA in food packaging, food containers, and other materials likely to come into contact with food. BPA has also recently been discovered to be used on register receipts, potentially leading to impotency in men (BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical).

Food Dyes Linked to Cancer, ADHD, Allergies

Like BPA, other chemicals are on the most-wanted list for banning. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is lobbying for three common food dyes -- Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 -- to be eliminated from foods, saying the dyes can increase cancer risk, ADHD in children, and allergic reactions. The dyes are found in fruit drinks, candy, and cereals.

Questioning Health Claims on Food Labels

General Mills is facing a lawsuit against its claims that its fruit snack products are healthy; the complaint claims that the company failed to properly disclose that products like Fruit Roll-Ups contain partially hydrogenated oil. This is similar to the incident when Kellogg's -- still reeling from their massive cereal recall -- was barred by the Federal Trade Commission from saying Rice Krispies boosts kids' immunity.