Colour me yellow

It's Royal Society of Chemistry podcast time again.

I had quite a lot of fun with this one, which has had the biggest response on Twitter of any podcast I've done. It's about the dye tartrazine. Chemically it's one of the azo dyes, which are by far the most commonly used dyes, but of course it also has its controversy as a food colouring, which is why I got the Twitter flood.

Unfortunately, perhaps, the RSC did a slightly flippant tweet about it saying Tartrazine might send kids crazy, but it's definitely a pretty colour - now if you actually listen to the podcast I was a lot more measured about its potential effects, but this introduction was enough not only to get significantly retweeted but also to cause the wroth of one individual who posted 7 tweets mostly along the lines of 'Ever read Nerves In Collision by Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. about the many epilepsies?' Well no, Mr Wild (with excellent nominative determinism that really seems to be what he's called), I haven't.

I don't know about anyone else but as soon as someone puts 'M. D.' after the name on a book spine I think that they're either a boy called Doogie Howser or they are not exactly producing scientific fact. Sadly most of Mr Wild's academic references were to a Yahoo group, which doesn't exactly raise confidence either. I knew E numbers caused concern, but I hadn't realized how knee-jerk the reaction would be.

However, the mini-tweetstorm isn't the subject of this post, it's tartrazine - so why not take a listen and see if Mr Wild was right?


  1. Quick update - sadly this person has now spammed me with 14 extra tweets, some mildly abusive, so I have had to block him.


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