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Mars to Remove All Dyes from M&Ms and Other Foods

Statement of CSPI President Michael F. Jacobson

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Mars, Inc.’s bold action, announced today, that it will get synthetic food dyes out of its entire human food portfolio is a huge advance for parents and children and should serve as a powerful incentive for the rest of the food industry to follow suit.

We appreciate the fact that Mars listened to our concerns and to the concerns of its customers and that it is exercising this kind of responsible leadership.

The Food and Drug Administration should level the playing field for the whole industry by banning Yellow 5, Red 40, and other synthetic dyes used in food. There is simply too much evidence demonstrating that these artificial dyes trigger inattention, hyperactivity, and other behavioral reactions in children. The use of these neurotoxic chemicals to provide a purely cosmetic function in foods, particularly foods designed to appeal to children, must stop.

Mars’ action is not only a big victory for parents; it is also a big victory by parents. We’ve been pleased to work with moms and dads from around the country who have written to the FDA, contacted food companies, and signed petitions like the one focused on Mars that Renee Shutters started on Change.org. It shows that when consumers make their voices heard, food companies will sometimes actually listen.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).