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Processed Foods Linked to Learning Disorders

By Angela Hatton / Kentucky News Service

Murray, KY – A new study says children's diets could be undercutting their brain power. The study links synthetic food dyes, mercury contamination, and mineral deficiencies with increases in child learning and behavioral disorders. Report co-author Doctor David Wallinga cites evidence that many common processed foods, including high fructose corn syrup, contain mercury.

"We've got rising numbers of kids with chronic diseases and learning disabilities and we don't know why. So, part of this model is saying are there things in the food and in the environment that may be contributing? Yes there are, and we can do something about that."

Wallinga says the legal loophole that allows food companies to use mercury-containing ingredients needs to be closed. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy is working to reform how toxic chemicals are regulated nationally to help ensure a healthy food system.