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Remove Red Dye 3 from Candy and Foods

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Sponsor: The Hunger Site

Sugar-coated marshmallow Peeps contain Red Dye 3, a known carcinogen, which causes cancer in animals. Take action for food safety!

As Easter approaches, parents around the country are stocking up on candy-filled baskets and chocolate eggs for their children. However, there's one popular Easter candy that has parents concerned: Peeps. These sugar-coated marshmallow candies, shaped like bunnies and chicks, contain an ingredient called Red Dye 31. This ingredient has been labeled as a known carcinogen by the National Institutes of Health, causing concern among parents about the safety of the candy.

We are calling on Just Born, Inc., the parent company of Peeps, to remove Red Dye 3 from its products and commit to using safer and healthier colorants.

Red Dye 3 is a petroleum and coal tar-based additive used to give food and drinks a pink or red color. It has been banned in cosmetics in the U.S. due to its potential health risks. The National Institutes of Health has found that Red Dye 3 causes cancer in animals and there is evidence that other dyes are also carcinogenic2.

Peeps has several flavors that contain Red Dye 3, including Pink Marshmallow Chicks and Bunnies, Lavender Marshmallow Chicks and Bunnies, Hot Tamales Marshmallow Chicks, Party Cake Peeps, Fruit Punch Marshmallow Chicks, and Wildberry Marshmallow Bunnies3.

Just Born has stated that Red Dye 3 is currently an approved colorant for use in candy by the FDA. However, the company has said that it is open to changing the colorants of its products, including Peeps, to safer and healthier alternatives should it become a viable option for them to take4.

There are several natural colorants that can be used in place of Red Dye 3, including Beet juice, Carrot juice, Spirulina extract, Paprika oleoresin, and Purple sweet potato5.

Parents are concerned about the ingredients in their children's food, and Peeps with Red Dye 3 is no exception.

The time for action is now. As consumers, we have the power to make our voices heard and demand safer products for ourselves and our families. By signing our petition to Just Born, Inc., we can show our support for the removal of Red Dye 3 from Peeps and other candies.

Let's celebrate Easter safely. The presence of Red Dye 3 in Peeps is a serious concern for parents and health-conscious consumers alike. As we prepare to celebrate Easter, let us not forget the importance of choosing safe and healthy food options for our loved ones.

Sign the petition to Just Born, Inc. today and help make a difference in the safety and well-being of our families. Together, we can demand better from companies that make our food and create a safer, healthier future for generations to come.

More on this issue:

  1. Sarah Kobylewski, Michael F Jacobson, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, National Library of Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (July-September 2018), "Toxicology of food dyes."
  2. Lauren Kirchner, Consumer Reports (14 November 2023), "Why Is Red Dye No. 3 Banned in Cosmetics but Still Allowed in Food?."
  3. Michael Hansen, Consumer Reports (3 April 2023), "Popular Peeps Easter candy is made with cancer-causing Red Dye 3."
  4. Jena Greene, The Street (4 April), "Warning: Popular Easter Candy Contains Ingredient Linked to Cancer (And Is Still For Sale)."
  5. Natural Products Insider (24 September 2013), "Natural alternatives for synthetic, FD&C colors."
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The Petition:

To the President and Chief Operating Officer of Just Born, Inc.,

We are concerned about the use of Red Dye 3 in your Peeps candy products. As you may know, Red Dye 3 has been linked to many health concerns, including cancer, and has been banned in cosmetics in the United States. We believe that it is unacceptable to use a known carcinogen in candy products, especially those marketed towards children.

We urge you to take action and remove Red Dye 3 from your Peeps products. While you state that you adhere to FDA regulations, we believe that you have a moral obligation to ensure the safety of your consumers. Many other companies have already taken steps to remove harmful ingredients from their products, and we believe that Just Born, Inc. should follow suit.

We understand that finding alternative colorants may be challenging, but we also know that there are many safe and effective alternatives available. We believe that you have the resources and the responsibility to provide safe and healthy products to your customers. Please take action to remove Red Dye 3 from your Peeps products and help protect the health of your consumers.


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