Mars, Inc. announced the corporation’s plans to completely remove synthetic food dye from its entire human food portfolio in what is being called one of the food industry’s boldest advancements for parents and children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says Mars Inc.’s decision to remove all synthetic food dyes from all of its human food “should serve as a powerful incentive for the rest of the food industry to follow suit.”
We’re removing artificial colors from our human food products—naturally: https://t.co/7PBZeaT3ti
— Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal) February 5, 2016
“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 Center stated in a press release.
Now, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says that the “Food and Drug Administration should level the playing field for the whole industry” by banning artificial food dyes from all foods in the nation, citing concerns over risks to children with ADHD.
“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.”
The Center calls Mars’ action “a big victory for parents” as well as “a big victory by parents.”
For years, parents have been pleading with food companies to remove artificial dyes, flavorings, and preservatives from food that children eat. A petition on Change.org, which exceeded it’s goal of 200,000 signatures, declared victory last week after the announcement that Mars would remove all artificial coloring from its foods.
“It shows that when consumers make their voices heard, food companies will sometimes actually listen,” the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s press release concluded.
Mars stated in its press release that many of the company’s products are already free of artificial colors and calls its action a “commitment of significant depth and breadth.” Mars stated that because the products that will need to be switched from synthetic dyes to natural dyes include a wide range of foods including chocolates, gum, confections and beverages, the switch will “take place incrementally over the next five years.”
Mars claims that artificial colors pose no “known risks to human health or safety,” but parents familiar with children who react strongly to food dye know that in some children, the consequences of ingesting the food dyes can be quite dangerous. Other consumers claim there is even a cancer link.
New Study Links Food Dye To Cancer, ADHD, Other Illnesses – https://t.co/70m46lGxj5
— Фробешэр Смиты (@Fr0bisher) December 24, 2015
As the Inquisitr reported previously, a January 19 petition to the FDA, which was signed by a panel of doctors and scientists, called on the regulatory agency to ban the use of artificial dyes in food and beverages. In that letter, the experts pointed out that the British government and the European Union already took aggressive action against the use of synthetic food dyes and virtually ended their consumption throughout all of Europe. The petition to the FDA claimed there is important new research since the FDA last met to consider their safety in 2011.
— Reesa Lewandowski (@mommalewsblog) February 1, 2016
In 2014, Purdue researchers estimated a daily intake per person of 62 mg of artificial food dyes in 2010. Those researchers said that in 1950, the average daily intake was 12 mg per person. These levels of artificial food coloring are higher than the levels demonstrated in some clinical trials to impair some children’s behavior. The FDA admitted in 2011 that food dye can trigger behavioral problems in some children predisposed to it. A single cup of Kool-Aid exposes children to levels that exceed the amounts shown to cause behavioral problems in some children with ADHD.
“Eliminating all artificial colors from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish. Our consumers are the boss and we hear them. If it’s the right thing to do for them, it’s the right thing to do for Mars,” Grant F. Reid, the president and CEO of Mars, said.
— Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal) October 8, 2015
Mars’ brands include 3 Musketeers, M&M’s, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, Juicy Fruit, Altoids, Life Savers, Skittles, Starburst, Hubba Bubba, Orbit, Eclipse, Dove chocolates and hot chocolate mixes, and even Uncle Ben’s. In total, the company will need to alter more than 50 products, according to Mars. The company calls it a complex challenge. Mars’ strategy included partnering with suppliers to develop natural alternative formulas that meet quality standards as it removes all artificial food dye from all of its human products.
[Image via Pixabay]