The Truth About Food Coloring

Inside of the vast majority of foods eaten daily resides a substance not often considered before consumption. It is in beverages, chips, cookies, candy, and even a food as natural as oranges freshly plucked from a tree. This silent element is a food color additive, and seven-year-old Nicholas Hughes believes he knows why it can be found in foods everywhere. He says it is “to give them fun colors, because, like, you just don’t want tan everyday” (ABC News video report). Despite the truth of his sage-like wisdom, food dye has been under scrutiny for decades and is not being seriously considered for banning due to its potentially harmful nature. It is undergoing the process of being proven that not only do these additives exacerbate the symptoms of mental disorders such as ADD and ADHD, but they can even be toxic when ingested. These dangers, already researched for the past forty years, are causing grave concern for parents that worry the color dyes may harm their children in the long run.

For thousands of years humans created their dyes out of naturally-occurring materials such as plants, berries, insects, and animal fats. It was not until the 19th centure that English chemist William Perkin synthesized mauve dye, a color unable to be made by natural means. It quickly became popular at a global level and wasn’t long before a plethora of synthesized dyes became available. As beautiful as these colors were, however, they created concerns for consumers due to their controversial origins. One of the eight FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) certified color dyes, for example, commonly known as Blue No. 2, contains indigotine. This chemical is not only used in food, but also as the chemical that colors blue jeans blue. Indigotine’s chemical makeup was mapped and synthesized in 1897, and improved upon in 1901. Synthesized dyes are primarily composed of petroleum, an oily, thick, flammable, usually dark-colored liquid that is a form of bitumen or a mixture of various hydrocarbons. As opposed to natural red dye, made up of various insects, a material such a petroleum is sure to make consumers hesitant to allow it into their food supply. Consumers would even call the additives deceitful in the way the vibrant colored foods lure them into making poor health choices.

Despite the claim made by the FDA that states dyes have not been found to contain “any inherent neurotoxic properties” (MLA), a study held in the late 1900s proves otherwise. During this study several generations of mice and rats were fed a diet that included five percent or less color dye in it for a period of approximately eighty weeks. Through the course of the weeks the infant rodents grew, but did not prosper. Instead many of them had allergic reactions to the dye, developed tumors, or even developed bladder cancer. For two days perfectly formed dye was found in the stool of the rodents, as they were unable to digest the unnatural substance. As they grew older, a common side effect of some dyes was disproportionate organ growth. Most interestingly, however, was the dye Citrus Red 2. It was the only dye not officially certified by the FDA, and, while used in miniscule amounts, showed to have perhaps the most adverse effects on the test subjects. It is currently used on orange peels not sent for processing to make them more orange and tempting for retail, and the effects on the rodents were disastrous. “At the 0.1% levels, rats showed differences in organ weights, incidence of edema-like swelling, a possible trend toward an increased incidence of fatty metamorphosis (fat droplets in the cytoplasm of cells), and a significant difference in weight gain in females. Researchers did not report an increase in the occurrence of tumors” (Fitzhugh 1959).

An additional study made in England was meant to show the dangerous correlation between the consumption of food additives and mental disorders. “According to the National Institute of Health,” reported an ABC news anchor, “ADHD affects 3 percent to 5 percent of all American children. In addition to being hyperactive, children and adults with ADHD may also suffer from inattention and impulsivity [after long-term consumption of food dyes.]” When this issue was brought to the FDA in response to the CSPI, or the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the FDA replied with a memo that included the following statement:

“In summary, based on the data reviewed in these publications FDA concludes that a casual relationship between exposure to color additives and hyperactivity in children in the general population has not been established. However, for certain susceptible children with ADHD and other problem behaviors, the data suggest that their condition may be exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, artificial food colors.”

Headway has been made toward the banning of these detrimental additives, especially in other nations. After the UK medical journal The Lancet wrote in 2007 that dyes may be linked to ADD, European Parliament ordered warning labels to be placed on foods with additives in them. In 2005 Nestlé-Rowntree recalled its blue “smarties,” then later brought them back in 2008 after using spirulina, a mixture of two cyanobacteria, instead of Blue No. 2. At the University of Ohio, Dr. L. Eugene Arnold stated, “If something is safe, easy, cheap and sensible to do, you don’t need as much evidence to take action… Dyes are not an essential food group. We have an obesity epidemic; it’s not necessary to make food more attractive.”

As color additives truly are not necessary, it should be relatively simple to stop using them in the foods billions of people eat every day. Food color dyes cause concern to the public due to their worrisome nature, and their unnatural synthetics have no place in food stocks. To conclude, chemist Hamish McNab released his opinion of color dyes: “My own view is that any chemical should be regarded as potentially harmful when ingested. Note that naturally occurring chemicals can be just as harmful as synthetic ones—strychnine is no less poisonous because it occurs naturally!”


Caffeine as a Pesticide


Have you ever wondered what is in the pesticides and insecticides sprayed on our fruits and vegetables to keep the bugs away, what’s in the spray that those applying it to acres upon acres of our food are too afraid to touch, let alone breathe in?

Pesticides and insecticides are evaluated and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and approximately 865 have been accepted. Unfortunately, this does not mean that they are safe for humans. They are known to contain cancer-bearing carcinogens, cause birth defects, and affect the nervous system. They don’t wash off or go away, either. Pesticides are partially absorbed into the foods they are sprayed onto, putting infants and small children at risk of poisoning by relation of the amount of food consumed to their body weight.

Luckily, there is an alternative to pesticides that, if utilized correctly, can greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for pesticides. Recent studies have shown that while caffeine is an excellent pick-me-up for humans, it is toxic and deadly to insects. Virtually harmless to humans and most animals and with a pH level of 6.5-6.8, very close to the neutral 7.0, coffee grounds would not detract from the quality of the soil; rather, coffee grounds actually improve the soil tilth (structure). They are currently used in composting, showing the benefits they can already provide to the quality of your produce.

To use coffee grounds in your own garden, all that is needed is to simply cultivate and mix the grounds into the soil. Another idea could be to infuse the coffee grounds with water– but don’t make coffee! –and spray it on your plants as you would with a normal pesticide. Do not spread the grounds directly onto the soil and leave it, as when it dries it can repel water.

The main drawback from this method is that coffee grounds do not work well as a fertilizer. In order to maximize your results, it is best to use a nitrogen fertilizer at the same time. Doing so provides nutrients to your plants and aids in growth.

It is my hope that with further research and trials pesticides can be replaced and removed entirely, allowing those wanting to enjoy a healthy lifestyle to not have to worry about what went into their produce before it reached their grocery store.

Fraud: Augusto DeOliviera of Griffin Shepherd Kennels

Picture this: You see a video on facebook one day that has gone completely viral; there’s this 23 year old guy in New England who is walking his eight German Shepherds around the streets without any leashes. Leash laws aside, that’s pretty cool. So you go to his facebook page and find he’s a GSD breeder and trainer, and has a plethora of pictures and videos of him and his dogs, and all of the comments are supportive and encouraging of this man, Augusto DeOliviera. Super. A quick look at his website shows that offers high quality dogs and dog training by himself for around $3,000. Woah, most go for $600-800, these must be some serious bloodlines. The fact that there is no tab on the website showing the dogs he has and the litters of puppies, as most breeders do on their sites, is a bit strange but you don’t think about it at first glance.

So you become a fan. Like his facebook page, encourage him when he posts pictures, and generally leave the subject alone. That is, until things start getting strange with Griffin Shepherd Kennels. All of a sudden DeOliviera begins posting about “haters” going after him, about the town of Hanson, MA not wanting to allow him to move into a 99-acre property because of discrimination against him “for being Brazillian, young and gay,” according to a petition (posted in the references) he began. Note: he’s actually American, not native Brazilian. This is the point where I realized something was amiss, as I had not seen any kind of discrimination, and it seemed to be a bit of a reach to say that was the only reason. My friend google led me to a second petition that wanted to shut down Griffin Shepherd Kennels and Augusto DeOliviera as being an unethical and unlicensed breeder and trainer.

That was how I came across The Truth About Griffin Shepherd Kennels, a group on facebook dedicated to exposing GSK and ADO as a whole. A note in their page shows many verifiable facts that were gathered and collected only after receiving evidence, always via legitimate sources. I encourage you to read some of these, which I will put at the end for space and bulk reading purposes.

While there has been much activity among both ADO and the Truth since the time I discovered them, the most recent and possibly most controversial action was the decision by DeOliviera to raffle one of his puppies off on facebook, claiming he wanted to donate her to someone that was in need of a service dog, fully trained and ready to serve. Not only is it illegal to raffle off a dog in MA, ADO is not a service dog trainer or even a regular certified dog trainer, nor is he associated in any way with the service dog industry. His methods are incorrect at best and abusive at worst.

Several of his videos show abuse of his dogs, including one where he allows his male “alpha” shepherd to attack one of the puppies (here is a link to it. It’s the same car Augusto has, as you can find on his page, and the same dogs. Warning: this is not for those who don’t like to see animal violence:, at least two others where he actually hits the dogs he is supposed to be training for aggression, another where he jabs a dog confined in a cage with a broom handle as another aggression training technique, and yet another where he gleefully admits to dehydrating a dog as part of his training as if he has no idea that what he’s doing is abusive and ethically wrong.

This announcement has gained the attention of the Service Dog Free Press, a group that refers to themselves as the “Wikileaks of the service dog industry” and aims to denounce and expose fraudulent trainers, who have taken a personal interest in DeOliviera and sent a public message to him:

“Dear Mr. Augusto De Oliveira,

We are personally informing you that you are finished as a service dog trainer.
We have notified the Massachusetts Attorney General, The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Dept, The Boston PD and every legitimate service dog training organization in the world, The German Shepherd Dog Club of America and United Schutzhund Club of America and AKC. We have also notified SV in Germany and Assistance Dogs International. We seek their involvement to assist in shutting you down via a court order and possibly to have you jailed.
We are seeking to have you prosecuted for fraud and for restitution made to your victims.
You are endangering the German Shepherds you train with your unethical breeding practices, use of e-collars and your abusive kicking of dogs in the soft tissue area.
You have falsely advertised your skills and the pedigree of the dogs you breed and the health certificates of the dogs.
You are endangering and preying upon persons of a vulnerable population (the disabled) with fraudulent service dogs.
Do not think we are playing games. We have shut many fraud companies down all over the country.”

The story The Service Dog Free Press posted regarding GSK/ADO has been shared with many organizations in the German Shepherd, breeding, training, and service dog communities all over the nation and the globe (posted in references. Be warned, the towel picture of ADO is a bit racier than PG). Complaints have been filed, investigations are being conducted, and the feds have been notified since ADO has mentioned going abroad with all of this coming crashing down on him.

I ask that anyone wanting to get involved go to The Service Dog Free Press’ facebook page (link in references) and use the contact information provided to help take this disgusting man down in the hopes that no future generations of dogs will have to go through the same maltreatment in his hands.

Verifiable facts from The Truth’s facebook page:

GSK held no kennel license at the time of its founding, and only in the past few months acquired one after scrutiny.

GSK holds no business license, nor is it a legitimate business registered through the state of MA.

GSK has no Tax ID number either at the State or Federal level.

GSK has been fined multiple times for building on protected wetlands and has refused, to date, to remove fencing of protected land.

* * * * * * * * * *


Dogs are not health checked/OFA certified before breeding.

Several Dams were bred in their first heat (as early as 8 months) and were bred back to back in heat cycles.

Hannah was 10 months old when she was bred- too early for OFA on her hips. She was born 11-08-2012 and had her first litter 11-29-2013.

Savannah was 8 months old when she was bred- too early for OFA on her hips. She was born 11-7-2011, had her first litter 9-21-2012. Her other litters were:

2/15/2013 – where she produced a puppy with Sub Aortic Stenosis, a genetic heart condition



Harmony has had 4 back to back litters, and produced a puppy that is a DM carrier. Her litters were:





Although Griffin (the lead sire) has been recently x-rayed for hips/joints, it was done after he was used to sire multiple (minimum of 17) litters.

Known genetic diseases such as DM, HD etc are not tested for as he claims. Claims breeding dogs and puppies are “health certified” with no actual testing done or documented in any known tracking database.

At least one of the pups Griffin sired was tested with positive results for being a DM carrier.

GSK has stated plans to “line breed” the dogs, and has made public breeding schedules that show brother/sister and father/daughter parings for breeding.

GSK has multiple breeding dogs with the same name, some AKC registered and some not of the same name, and does not separate puppies of known litters. He sold one puppy with registration papers, then after the puppy was returned with a life-threatening heart defect claimed it was a puppy from a “stray” that had whelped at the same time. AFTER providing the buyer with AKC registration paperwork.

While the name of this organization is Griffin Shepherd Kennels, NO actual “kennels” exist. Mr. DeOliviera claims all of his dogs live in the house. He has not demonstrated a clear established method to ensure dogs are kept separate, or control which dogs are breeding together.

* * * * * * * * * *


Sick puppies have been returned, some have died. Just a few examples with documentation by the owners already available (we know of 14 pups total affected)

1 puppy returned for severe genetic heart disorder presumed dead.

1 died at 8 months old due to severe genetic heart disorder.

1 puppy returned for severe kidney issues.

1 puppy tested by the new owner was found positive for DM as a carrier.

Several first-hand accounts and vet records provided show puppies severely underweight/small for their ages (3-5lbs where a healthy puppy would weigh 8-12lbs at 8 weeks). Vet records also confirm puppies were infested with fleas and parasites at the time of the visit.

Some buyers received no vet records, vaccinations records, or registration papers after purchase.

Dogs/puppies were parasite infested and had fleas at the time of purchase.

GSK does not vaccinate for anything other than rabies, which is required by state law, including known diseases such as Parvovirus and Distemper, nor are puppies dewormed.

* * * * * * * * * *


Provides a very one sided contract to buyer, some buyers got NO contract. Non-refundable deposits are taken 3 years in advance with no contract, no mating pair determined, and no planned breeding made available.

Has withheld papers from buyers, or used their dog’s papers as leverage to get them to sign a non-disclosure agreement before releasing the paperwork to the new owners –

Buyers who returned puppies were promised full refunds but have never received any repayment.

Has operated unlicensed businesses under 3 different names,( Guy’s Labradors, Griffin Shepherd Kennels, and Good Shepherd Training), in less than [3] years.

None of these past “businesses” were registered with the state as a legitimate business, or any tax ID numbers.

There are active/pending complaints filed with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. According to the AG’s office Mr. DeOliviera has blocked all of his numbers so they can not contact him by phone.

Suits have and are being filed in small claims courts.

Mr. DeOliviera has blamed buyers for his animal’s poor health and has gone so far as to post their addresses and personal information on his Facebook page without their consent.

Has multiple “business partners’ such as Deb Crowley (Bad Breeder of Rockland) and Eva Sonia Berg who still has warrants for her arrest for animal cruelty.;jsessionid=EDCBB7968BFADA199CE18DBEDF934A2B.render6?caseNo=2013CM000094&countyNo=68&cacheId=0FF12926BAA952481F096DEAD77174F6&recordCount=6&offset=1&mode=details&submit=View+Case+Details

These are the type of people he associates with, and considers not only his mentors but also his partners.

* * * * * * * * * *

GSK HAS PENDING COMPLAINTS (from its Town of Barnstable location)

GSK has provided no proof of liability insurance.

Barnstable Animal Control has received multiple complaints of dogs barking, loose dogs, aggressive dogs, and pungent smell of feces and urine coming from the property

GSK has fenced in and caused damage to protected wetlands on the current property in Hyannis. He was told to take the fencing down and repair the damage, he has not complied. He has paid multiple fines for non-compliance to town ordinances

GSK is accused of harassing neighbors who complained in Hyannis.

* * * * * * * * * *


Dogs have been fed fresh road kill as well as the goats he raises on the property. This can lead to internal parasites especially when not vaccinated. (Author note: nor does it allow each dog to get enough or an equal amount of food, especially when they’re puppies.)

* The dog community is fine with raw feeding when done properly. Please freeze meat to make sure it is free of parasites before feeding it.

* * * * * * * * * *


Allows dogs to fight, and has put new mothers in with a large pack to get beaten up, allows Griffin to attack younger dogs unchecked for publicity, and brings other females into whelping rooms where moms with new pups are housed, creating stress on the pups and mothers. Allows other animals such as cats, strange dogs, etc to invade a whelping mother’s space with new pups.

Claims his dogs all live in the house as “family” but has multiple pictures of stacked crates in the home, many without even the barrier for safety, and multiple dogs housed in one crate.

* * * * * * * * * *


Facebook is where GSK does their advertising to sell the puppies bred and to sell other dogs from other breeder under the guise of Rescue and Adoption.

GSK will not answer questions and removes any negative questions/comments. Anyone disagreeing with him or asking legitimate questions is viciously attacked before being blocked and banned. (Author note: I personally have been victim to his maltreatment and banning after posting a link to the Truth page on his page)

Pulled Facebook page down immediately after raid by local law officials, including Animal Control. Put page back up after removing any condemning posts/videos/pics – nearly all posts made in the year 2012 were removed.

GSK uses their page and Mr. DeOliviera’s personal page to bash people who have paid as much as $3000 for a sick pup. Mr. DeOliviera has blamed buyers for the puppies poor health on his Facebook page and has gone so far as to post their addresses and other info. He has engaged his “followers” to harass disgruntled buyers and people who criticize his practices.

* * * * * * * * * *


There are many “training” videos on YouTube. Close observation show many adverse devices being used such as electric collars and many videos of the dogs with their ears are down and their tails are between their legs as they are “obeying”.

Claims to be a certified Service Dog trainer but fails to show any certification. GSK is not associated with any known GSD groups, titling groups, or show groups.

Mr. DeOliviera has never studied under anyone with proven methods and results.

Claims to be a trainer/breeder of German Shepherds for 8+ years (some places he claims 8 yrs experience but in several news articles he has claimed more than 10 years) even though he is only 23 and has only had the breed for approximately 2-3 years.

Has stated he uses prong collars on very young puppies.

* * * * * * * * * *


Originally claimed to be born in Brazil when, in fact, he was born in the USA - Documents on the Truth page showing high school attendance in the U.S.

Has “rescued” dogs to use for breeding or to turn a profit – and paid substantial amounts for those “rescues” from known breeders.

Has obtained animals under false pretenses on craigslist, claiming to give them a good home when in fact they are used as food for the pack. Although homesteading is a growing movement, acquiring animals under false pretenses and lying about it shows a lack of ethical behavior.

GSK is now attempting to move his operation to Hanson Mass. They have already begun building things there even though there are no permits in place as of yet.

GSK has multiple breeding dogs with the same name, some AKC registered and some not of the same name, and does not separate puppies of known litters. He sold one puppy with registration papers, then after the puppy was returned with a life-threatening heart defect claimed it was a puppy from a “stray” that had whelped at the same time. AFTER providing the buyer with AKC registration paperwork.

While the name of this organization is Griffin Shepherd Kennels, NO actual “kennels” exist. Mr. DeOliviera claims all of his dogs live in the house. He has not demonstrated a clear established method to ensure dogs are kept separate, or control which dogs are breeding together.

Griffin Shepherd Kennels website:

Petition to allow GSK in Hanson, MA:

Petition to shut down GSK:

The Truth Facebook Page: