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U.S. regulators said this past Monday that color additives made from insects must be disclosed on food and cosmetics labels by 2011. This is a result of the possibility of allergic reactions from these ingredients.

Instead of being labeled as “artificial color,” carmine and cochineal extract from the cochineal insect will have to be named specifically. However, the labels will not have to disclose that the ingredients actually come from bugs.

What is carmine?

“Carmine is a crimson or purplish-red color.”

What is Cochineal?

“Cochineal is a red dye from the dried bodies of female cochineal insects, which live on cactuses in warm regions.”

FDA says this new rule is a result of reports of allergic reactions to food and cosmetics containing the ingredients. Some of the reactions have been life-threatening. Bloomberg reports these ingredients are used in Estee Lauder Cos., makeup, the maker of Clinique, and in some Dannon yogurts.

Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the FDA in 1998 in order to protect consumers who have allergies to these ingredients.

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