Valentine's Day is gone, so that means the stores are getting ready for the next major candy holiday - Easter. The chocolate hearts are being swapped out for bunnies, jelly beans and eggs - and one specific candy that comes around every Easter. That candy may be causing some health issues.

Candy Sold in Mississippi May Cause Cancer

According to Consumer Reports, there are several varieties of the popular (for whatever reason) marshmallow candies containing a known carcinogen. The ingredient, Red Dye No. 3 is used to make the candies pink and purple.

Just Born Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Marshmallow Peeps Candy
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The Food and Drug Administration explains that companies have not been allowed to use Red Dye No. 3 in cosmetics or external use drugs in the United States for the past 34 years, but it's still legal to use in food and drugs meant to be ingested.

In a message to buyers, Consumer Reports show that Red Dye No. 3 which is derived from petroleum, may cause cancer in animals. Research shows that lab rats who were fed large quantities of the artificial food coloring later turned to thyroid tumors. They also suggest that Red Dye No. 3 could be linked to hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.

Red Dye No. 3 Is Actually Illegal In Some Places

Unsplash - Tingey Injury Law Firm
Unsplash - Tingey Injury Law Firm

Red Dye No. 3's troubling research results have pressed some governments to ban the food product.

For the United Kingdom, the additive has been banned from nearly all food products since 1990. In 2021, a bakery called Get Baked got in a bunch of trouble for serving sprinkles containing Red Dye No. 3 as part of a line of cookies. The owner then said he'd be going on a "Sprinkle Strike" because the UK's sprinkles didn't have the vibrance of color he wanted.

In the United States, Red Dye No. 3 is illegal in the state of California. Since the federal government's agencies haven't to illegalize the dye in all food, California stepped up to make it illegal in their state. According to NPR, the law approved banning the manufacturing, distribution and sale of products that contain the dye in October of 2023.

The law goes into effect in 2027 and that means the products will still be on the shelves until then.

California Has Forced Peeps To Change Already

Getty Images
Getty Images

The move to ban Red Dye No. 3 has brought some action from the manufacturer of Peeps, Just Born. According to the 2, Just Born has changed their recipes in some of their products.

Last year, eight products contained the carcinogen. This year only two colors (flavors) will contain the coloring - the pink and the lavender. The colors are sold as both chick and bunny varieties.

2024 is the final year any of the Peeps will contain the ingredient. 

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