What would make saffron (or something) color pink, instead of the more usual yellows and oranges that saffron is known for?
I had, a while ago, picked up a container of saffron from an ethnic store. On reflection, it didn't look like it was too high quality (the color was a bit pale and I could see a few yellow ends), and it smelled like saffron does when I checked, maybe a bit mild or weak. I didn't mind too much because it was also relatively inexpensive, and I figured it would still be worth it to use up the container in some experimental recipes.
A couple days ago, I was making some rice, and randomly decided to season it with saffron - when I dropped the strands in the heating water, they looked like the color coming off them was a bit dark, reddish - but I wasn't sure, maybe it was the lighting. By the time the rice was done, I was certain - the saffron had colored the rice pink, not yellow as I expected. I have seen saffron color orange, in high concentrations, and of course it looks red still as threads - but I have never seen it color pink. I didn't notice this when using the saffron previously, but then again I only used it once or twice, in complex dishes with many colors - the pink might not have showed up clearly, especially if I wasn't looking for it, while white rice doesn't have a lot of distractions.
So, my question is, is there any reasonable guess as to why the threads gave off a pink color? I'm thinking either they were dyed (or treated somehow) so that the color looked darker than it was, or else it wasn't saffron at all. I am aware of safflower and its frequent confusion with saffron - this was not a mere labeling error - but even safflower gives a yellow color, from my understanding (if it can be substituted for color purposes at all, as I have read).
I especially want to know what might have caused the color change because I want to know what I can do with what I've got left in the box - if it is the result of potentially toxic dyes, I would want to treat it rather differently than if it was some merely fraudulent but nontoxic treatment or substitution.
The first pic is the saffron that's been colored. Second pic is some good saffron I had on hand, for comparison.