Red dye from Peruvian insects cause many allergies. Carmine, a red food dye, causes, in some people, severe allergic reactions, diarrhea, nasal stuffiness, asthmatic breathing problems, hives, and even anaphylactic shock.

Have you had diarrhea after eating strawberry ice cream? Did you start itching after some pink grapefruit juice or red ice pop? Have you had a stuffy nose after nibbling on your soul mates new lipstick? Did you get hives after washing your hair with a new purple shampoo? Did you get asthma after some strawberry yogurt or waffles with cherry syrup?

All these products are colored with red carmine dyes. The bright red color pigment comes from carminic acid. The acid is obtained from the belly of a dried Peruvian female cochineal insect that feeds on prickly pear cacti.

Cochineal is bright orange, known as carmine, and is vivid red. The dye also may be found in purple or pink coloring, or any red product.

The insect’s red color is added to thousands of food products and cosmetics. Until now, the labels only told you there was a color additive. No mention is made about the source.

The dye is listed on labels under various names: Carmine, Crimson Lake ,Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines ,and Natural Red 4 as additive E 120, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, and E120,

Since many synthetic red dyes are now prohibited in the United States, Peru enjoys a considerable advantage in the world market, supplying 80% of the world's cochineal — about 40% as a dye and 60%i in insect form.

The FDA, finally after being badgered for several years by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has decided to make food and cosmetic manufacturers identify the buggy source of carmine or cochineal extract; today it is identified only as "color added" in a product's list of ingredients.

The FDA will require food companies to list “carmine” on the labels, when the red cochineal extract and carmine dye are used in food and cosmetics. The FDA declined to list that the dye is derived from insects, so the beetle shall remain nameless.

Unfortunately the labels will not change until 2011, and the beetle shall remain nameless.

Those of you vegetarians, vegans, and followers of religions with dietary law (e.g. kashrut in Judaism and halaal in Islam), will not see the beetle extract removed from all these products and will have to read labels closely. Assume "carmine' means chochineal insect dye.

The food industry is aggressively opposed to the idea of writing, "insect based" on the label and they finally agreed to have the FDA simply put "carmine” on the label. Label changes will not occur until 2011.

Deception prevails again.