Did you know the FDA allows orange growers to dye oranges?

I never knew this so obvi had to dig in

Did you know the FDA allows orange growers to dye oranges that aren’t “perfectly orange” in color?

Here’s your answer from the FDA:

“Historically it has been the policy of the FDA to allow the artificial coloring of the skins of mature oranges. It is a common practice to color the skins of oranges in certain orange growing areas of the country because of climatic or cultural conditions which cause the oranges to mature while still green in color.”


Why would orange growers do this?

Before nights turn cool during the orange harvesting season of January - April, orange skins might not be “orange enough” to be visually appealing to shoppers. We’re more likely to be attracted to purchased brightly colored fruits and veggies. If oranges are still green, yet ready to be consumed, growers will spray their oranges with Citrus Red #2.

Citrus Red #2, Citrus Red No. 2, C.I. Solvent Red 80, or C.I. 12156 is an artificial dye permitted by the USDA since 1956 to color the skin of oranges.


The dye IS a carcinogen.


Studies have shown it’s toxic to mice and rats at modest levels causing bladder tumors and other types of tumors.

When purchasing we won’t know if it’s been dyed or not as there’s no regulations forcing them to be labeled!

How do we avoid eating dyed produce?

-Shop organic

-Grow your own

-Shop farmers markets or local farmers you trust.

-Oranges grown in California and Arizona have banned Citrus Red #2


Keep in mind, oranges aren’t the only one’s with artificial dyes.

  • Red Delicious apples

  • Blueberries

  • Maraschino cherries

  • Red potatoes

  • Strawberries

  • Pickles


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