In Europe, scientists found out in the 70s that food additives, artificial colorings in particular, are detrimental to children's development.
This plus other additional goodies that turn up in our food scared us: pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth promoters; and then there are the preservatives. It also made us think and come to the conclusion that we wanted to produce our own food and not digest industrial foods anymore that can make you sick.
In the late 80s, the soil was polluted, lakes and rivers were, air pollution grew and lead to the big phenomenon of "trees dying" due to acid rain. How could anything healthy grow out of this. Discovering that all these "goodies" were enhancing or rather compromising our food--our stomachs turned and made us think. We decided to grow our own and become self-sufficient. First in the constraints of our house in the the city; well, rather the house of my mother-in-law. After a while, however, she didn't like her shrubs to be replaced any more with strawberries and Brussels sprouts. She wanted her evergreen ground cover back. We had too find our own place; a cottage in the country.
A few years later, even that wasn't far away enough to get away from pollution: Chernobyl happened. Taking all of this into account, we opted for a healthier life-style and chose to go to Ireland to make this dream come true. Now, in Europe and Germany in particular with its stringent environmental laws, food additives have either been banned or have to be declared on the individual product. "To regulate these additives, and inform consumers, each additive is assigned a unique number, termed as "E numbers", which is used in Europe for all approved additives. Within the EU E numbers are all prefixed by E".
See the full list of what is regulated as a food additive. In the US, the FDA claims that food dyes are safe, but the experience of some parents and the results of some studies tell a different story. A 2006 study published in the Toxicological Sciences journal showed that exposure to certain dyes during the first few years of life could cause behavioral and developmental disorders in children. Other countries have already banned or require warning labels for artificially dyed foods. For example, Kellogg’s cereal bars are made using Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1 in the United States, but contain no artificial dyes in the UK. Instead, the same bars are produced there using beetroot, paprika and annatto extract to provide color. "The problem was first identified in the 1970s. Europe controls and even bans them in foods. The FDA is finally getting around to wondering if they're might be a problem." ADHD comes to mind. 3min 35 if you want to take the time. Thanks to Brasscheck that provides invaluable info on many topics.