Consumer Reports calling for ban on food coloring used in Peeps candy staff KABC logo
Saturday, April 8, 2023
Consumer Reports raises health concerns on ingredient in Peeps
Consumer Reports has delivered a petition to the FDA calling for a ban on Red Dye No. 3, the food coloring used in Peeps and other popular candies which it says contains a carcinogenic ingredient.

There's a new health concern over the popular Easter treat Peeps.

Consumer Reports is calling on the maker of the marshmallow candies to stop using Red Dye No. 3 over cancer concerns.

The advocacy group has delivered a petition with 35,000 signatures to the FDA calling for a ban on the use of Red Dye No. 3 in food.

"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, 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."

In a statement sent to USA Today, the manufacturer of Peeps, Just Born, noted that Red Dye No. 3 remains approved by the FDA as a food colorant.

"We also provide consumers with information on our packaging and our websites to help them make informed choices about our products," the company said.

The company statement added it 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."

This comes as a newly proposed bill in California would ban candies that contain Red Dye No. 3 and several other chemicals linked to health problems, like Skittles and Nerds.

The bill is expected to be heard in the Legislature in the coming weeks.

If it passes, California would be the first state to ban such chemicals.