The Food and Drug Administration confirmed Monday that it has banned one orange and three red dyes used to color drugs and cosmetics.
The agency had approved the dyes after animal tests lead them to believe the chemicals presented only an "extremely low" risk of causing cancer - about one case for every 1 million people using the colors for a lifetime.The agency's reversal on the color additives is the result of a suit brought by the consumer groups challenging the FDA's approval as a violation of the so-called Delaney clause, which bars the FDA from approving any color additives that causes cancer in animals.
The ban covers Orange No. 17 and Red No. 19, used in externally applied drugs and cosmetics and Red No. 8 and Red No. 9, used in lipstick and drugs taken orally.