Many of the artificial food colorings cause reactions in sensitive individuals ranging from hyperactivity to depression to asthma-like symptoms. Dr. Benjamin Feingold pioneered research in the field and founded an organization devoted to aiding sensitive individuals stay away from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Individuals who have asthmatic symptoms when exposed to Yellow Dye No. 5, also known as Tartrazine, can also be allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and salicylic acid, and are cautioned to avoid them.

Some artists have used food colouring as a means of making pictures.