Renee Shutters and CSPI
Since 1971, CSPI has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, and sound science.
Started 1 petition
M&M's Candies: Stop Using Artificial Dyes Linked To Hyperactivity
Did you know that M&M’s candies contain harmful, petroleum-based, artificial dyes that can trigger hyperactivity in sensitive children? I believe eliminating these dyes did wonders for my family’s health. 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. I’m a mom to two kids, and we like having some sweets around the house like most people do. Several years ago our little Trenton (now 9 years old) was having some behavioral problems. He was having trouble in school, at hockey practice, and at home with tasks as basic as falling asleep. He'd often have nightmares, and the slightest disappointment would set him off. As I did some research, I found out that parents all across the country have been struggling with similar hyperactivity issues. I also found out that many families were using an “elimination diet” to isolate and remove harmful ingredients -- particularly artificial dyes. By removing dyes like those found in M&M's, they were able to delay, reduce, and sometimes eliminate the need for medication. Some of the latest info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that more than 1 out of every 10 school-aged child has received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder! My understanding is that’s a 41% percent increase in the past decade, and that’s why I’m so interested in trying to find simple solutions that will help make our families healthier. I’m not trying to keep my kids from being kids. They can have treats. But they don’t need petroleum-based dyes. Just two days after deciding to eliminate artificial dyes from Trenton's diet, we saw dramatic improvements! His nightmares stopped and he was able to sleep through the night. Trent changed from a child who would have a meltdown if he didn’t get his way during playtime to a calm student who could share and do his schoolwork. When Trenton returned to hockey camp, the coach couldn’t believe he was the same person, calling him "smiling, eager to participate, and a joy to have on the ice.” Trenton’s teachers and coaches all know him for his sense of humor, wit and contagious positive attitude. Trenton excels in academics and sports, and this has been possible since our family figured out the harmful effects of the dyes. We did this without medication and by eliminating harmful dyes like the Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 found in M&M’s. 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." With Halloween coming up, I’ve decided to work with the experts at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on this campaign. Their review of scientific studies shows that artificial dyes including Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 can stimulate hyperactivity and other behavior problems in children. CSPI has recommended that these additives be prohibited from use in foods. I was present at a 2011 hearing where even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that “Exposure to food and food components, including artificial food colors and preservatives, may be associated with adverse behaviors” in children. M&M’s used to be one of Trenton’s favorite candies, but we’ve found products in the United States like SunDrops, Yummy Gummies, and Unreal that don’t use these dyes. And they taste great! I don’t believe anyone should be eating cheap, harmful, unnecessary dyes when safer alternatives exist and already are used in M&M’s in Europe! Please join us in asking Mars Inc., manufacturer of M&M’s, to replace artificial dyes with natural coloring.