Nomination Date: 02/18/1998
Rationale: The nomination of bixin is based on the high production volume and widespread exposure of the population to annatto, one of the most highly consumed colorants in the US food supply. Bixin is the ingredient that contributes this color. Despite annatto's status as an unregulated color additive, little is known about the toxicity of bixin or norbixin which are concentrated in annatto extracts and oils. A few short-term tests for genotoxicity of annatto have been described as positive.