Families that celebrate Easter tend to obtain pastel colored baskets and plenty of Easter candy for their children to find on Easter morning. One thing parents need to be aware of is the type of dye that is included some of the most iconic Easter candies.
Consumer Reports posted a news release titled: “Popular Peeps Easter candy is made with cancer-causing Red Dye 3”. From the press release:
Consumer Reports is alerting consumers that the purple and pink Peeps candies popular this time of the year for Easter are made with Red Dye No. 3, a known carcinogen. Earlier this year, CR called on Just Born Quality Confections to stop making Peeps with the cancer-causing dye, but the company has not responded and has not announced any plans to change its manufacturing process. Now CR is asking customers to send the same message in a petition to the company.
“Parents should know that the purple and pink colored Peeps that may be putting in their kids’ Easter basket are made with an ingredient that is a known carcinogen,” said Michael Hansen, PhD, senior staff scientist for Consumer Reports. “Just Born Quality Confections should stop making its iconic marshmallow treats with this dangerous food chemical since other less risky alternatives are readily available.”
Despite the health concerns about Red Dye 3, the ingredient is found in Peeps Pink Marshmallow Chicks, Peeps Pink Marshmallow Bunnies, Peeps Lavender Marshmallow Chicks, and Peeps Lavender Marshmallow Bunnies. Red Dye 3 is also found in other products made by the company, including Hot Tamales candy, Peeps Hot Tamales Marshmallow Chicks, Party Cake Peeps, Peeps Fruit Punch Marshmallow Chicks, and Peeps Wildberry Marshmallow Bunnies.
According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 2,900 food products on the market today contain Red Dye 3, including many artificially flavored and artificially colored candy marketed to children. The FDA requires manufacturers to list Red Dye 3 as an ingredient on a food’s labels.
Last October, Consumer Reports joined the Center for Science in the Public Interest and other groups to urge the FDA to ban the cancer-causing ingredient in all food. As part of that effort, CR developed a petition to the FDA today signed by nearly 35,000 consumers calling on the agency to prohibit the use of Red Dye 3 in food.
“Red Dye No.3 has been banned by the FDA from use in cosmetics since 1990, but inexplicably is still allowed in food,” said Hansen. “The widespread use of Red Dye 3 is particularly concerning since it is found in many products marketed to children who are especially at risk of developing health problems from exposure. It’s time for the FDA to protect public health by getting Red Dye 3 out of our food.”
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