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Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

The United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C) is a set of laws passed by Congress in 1938 giving authority to the Food and Drug Administration to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics. The act was amended by the FDA Modernization Act of 1997.

Food coloring

The FD&C is perhaps best known by the consumer because of its use in the naming of food coloring additives, such as "FD&C Yellow No. 6." The FD&C Act of 1938 made the certification of food color additives mandatory.

The FD&C lists nine certified color additives for use in the United States. Color additives derived from natural sources, such as vegetables, minerals or animals, and man-made counterparts of natural derivatives, are exempt from certification. Both artificial and natural color additives are subject to rigorous standards of safety prior to their approval for use in foods.

Certifiable colors: (name/common name)

  • FD&C Blue No.1 / Brilliant Blue FCF (bright blue)
  • FD&C Blue No.2 / Indigotine (royal blue)
  • FD&C Green No.3 / Fast Green FCF (sea green)
  • FD&C Red No.3 / Erythrosine (cherry red)
  • FD&C Red No.40 / Allura Red AC (orange-red)
  • FD&C Yellow No.5 / Tartrazine (lemon yellow)
  • FD&C Yellow No.6 / Sunset Yellow (orange)
  • Orange B (restricted to specific uses)
  • Citrus Red No.2 (restricted to specific uses)

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Last updated: 08-02-2005 00:37:23
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46