The U.S. is taking the first step in potentially following Europe’s foot steps in the food dye debates.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding hearings this week about food dyes and the link they might have to children’s behavior.

In Europe the dyes were linked to hyperactivity, and now require a warning label. The FDA will hear from advisers during the hearings, and then decide whether to take action, which could take months or even years, Rueters reports. The hearings are a response to a 2008 petition from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

“Yellow 2, Red 40, and other commonly used food dyes have long been shown in numerous clinical studies to impair children’s behavior,” CSPI says in a release. “But for years, FDA - which actually commissioned on of the first controlled studies - dismissed the mounting evidence against the dyes."

The agency has until now, held the stance that for the the general population, the FDA “concludes that a casual relationship” between the dyes and hyperactivity “has not been established,” FDA staff told Reuters. 

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