A petition asking Mars to eliminate artificial food coloring from the iconic M&M candies has over 60,000 signatures on Change.org. The petition, started by mother of two, Renee Shutters, claims that artificial food dyes can contribute to childhood hyperactivity and asks the candy giant to use natural food coloring instead.
"I believe eliminating these dyes did wonders for my family’s health," writes Shutters on the petition page. "M&M’s are already made without most of those dyes in Europe so I don’t understand why they are being made with cheaper, controversial ingredients in North America? Please sign my petition asking for M&M’s to be made without artificial dyes."
The vibrant colors of M&M's are known and recognized around the world, it's no wonder that kids are drawn to them. But according to Shutters, consuming these candies is dangerous, and not just because of all the sugar.
Her 9 year-old son experienced behavioral and emotional problems for years. Just two days after eliminating artificial food coloring from his diet, they began to see positive results.
"On the one hand," Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, told NPR. "I think there's a growing body of research that shows that artificial food colorings can affect a child's behavior. On the other hand, these effects are relatively modest."
Interestingly, when M&M's are sold in Europe, different dyes are used because otherwise they’d be required by law to place a label on the packaging that says “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children."
Check out the full petition here: www.change.org/MMsDyes
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