What You Should Know About Gery Cheese Crackers

Gery Cheese Crackers is a popular brand of biscuits made by GarudaFood and is widely consumed by children, including my own kids.

Tonight, I saw a post on Facebook which stated that Gery Cheese Crackers contained Tartrazine food coloring, specifically Tartrazine CI 19140. So I got a packet of the said crackers and sure enough, it contains Tartrazine CI 19140 as a food colorant.

Tartrazine as a food colorant

As far back as 2009, the UK Food Standards Agency called for a voluntary phase-out of E102, which is another name for the 19140 food coloring.

Although previously banned in Norway, Austria and Germany, E102 has been deemed safe for use by the European Food Safety Authority which has recommended a safe level of consumption.

[Source: http://www.safefood.eu/Food-Colour-Resource/Food-Colour/E102.aspx]

 

Back in 2013, it was reported that Tartazine food color is banned in Norway and Austria because of the compounds found in the color dye. However, it is allowed to be used in the USA. As one article stated, it may be a case of it being safe in small quantities. Another point is that the reasons a country ban a food compound may have as much to do with politics as it does science.[http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/Food/11-foods-banned-us/story?id=19457237#]

 

Regulations and Potential Health Risks

In many developed countries, food containing this dye is required to declared in the label for consumers to make an informed decision.

The main concern is that the food dye is produced from coal tar and is used in desserts, drinks, candy, snacks, condiments and cereals.
I have not read through the studies concerning this but it have allergic and intolerance reactions to:

  • people with asthma
  • people with an aspirin intolerance
  • children with ADHD

It has also been linked to migraines, anxiety, clinical depression, blurred vision, rashes or itchy spots on your skin.
I have not researched this properly but do bear in mind that if you or your child exhibit symptoms, it may be the food coloring in your food.