Consumer Reports: Some ‘Peeps’ candies contain cancer-causing chemical

Author: Andryanna Sheppard Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Easter is right around the corner but the non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports wants everyone to leave pink and purple Peeps out of Easter baskets and on the shelves this year. The organization warns Just Born Quality Confections makes the marshmallow chicks and bunnies with Red Dye No. 3, a known cancer-causing chemical.

“Parents should know that the purple and pink colored Peeps they 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 in a news release. “Just Born Quality Confections should stop making its iconic marshmallow treats with this dangerous food chemical since other less risky alternatives are readily available.”

Consumer Reports is urging people to sign their petition calling on the Peeps manufacturer to stop using Red Dye No. 3.

WINK News reached out to Just Born Quality Confections about the petition. The company issued the following statement:

“FD&C Red #3 is currently an approved colorant for use in candy by the FDA. We manufacture all our candies in compliance with FDA regulations, sourcing our ingredients and packaging exclusively from reputable suppliers who adhere to high quality and safety standards.  We also provide consumers with information on our packaging and our websites to help them make informed choices about our products.

“Our product development team is continually exploring opportunities to provide expanded options for our consumers, including colors derived from natural sources that can deliver the same visual impact and stability as their certified counterparts.”

Consumer Reports also sent a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling on the agency to ban the chemical.

WINK News reached out to the FDA. A spokesperson responded with this statement:

“The FDA is actively reviewing a petition filed for FD&C Red No. 3. FD&C Red No. 3 has been previously evaluated by the FDA. FD&C Red No. 3 is regulated by the FDA as a color additive. The FDA has two authorizing color additive regulations, one for food and one for ingested drugs. The color additive FD&C Red No. 3 is a certified color. The FDA requires all color additives to be listed on product labels so that they can be identified by consumers. Consumers who wish to limit the amount of color additives in their diets may check the food ingredient list on labels.”

Consumer Reports noted the FDA banned the use of Red Dye No. 3 in cosmetics in 1990.

“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,” Hansen added.

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