After all, bubonic plague is natural.

Marion Nestle thinks that con­sumers don’t need food col­or­ing in their food. In an email exchange with Adam Ozimek, she explains:

MN: Since they are unnec­es­sary and decep­tive, I can’t see any rea­son to do any­thing to pro­tect their use.
AO: You say that food col­or­ing is “unnec­es­sary and decep­tive”. But couldn’t you say the same thing of essen­tially any gar­nish or cook­ing tech­nique designed to make food appear more appeal­ing with­out phys­i­cally mod­i­fy­ing the fla­vor?
MN: The issue is arti­fi­cial. Food gar­nishes and cook­ing tech­niques are usu­ally not.

Megan McArdle argues that the nat­ural ver­sus arti­fi­cial dichotomy presents a false choice.

Actually “nat­ural” foods would also come with things like toxic fun­gus and hor­ri­ble par­a­sites which–I guarantee–are much worse for chil­dren and other liv­ing things than arti­fi­cial food col­or­ing. “Natural” is not syn­ony­mous with “bet­ter for you”. It’s absolutely true that you’re prob­a­bly less likely to get fat if you eschew highly processed foods in the snack and cereal aisles. But over­sim­pli­fy­ing this mes­sage to “nat­ural good, arti­fi­cial bad” quickly turns ridiculous.