Stop Using Harmful Artificial Dyes in Candy


Target: Paul S. Michaels, Chief Executive Officer of Mars Inc.

Goal: Demand that candy companies stop using harmful artificial dyes medically linked to hyperactivity

Many popular candies, including Mars’ M&Ms, contain petroleum-based artificial dyes that can be harmful, especially to children. Artificial dyes have been linked to hyperactivity in children and are already banned for health reasons in Europe. M&Ms are particularly problematic because of the multiple colors of artificial dye still used in North American manufacturing.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least one out of every 10 children has received a medical diagnosis of hyperactivity disorder. Studies have shown that by eliminating artificial dyes from children’s diets, they were more likely to sleep through the night and cooperate during school activities. The Center or Science in the Public Interest has recommended prohibiting these dyes from all foods for these and other substantial health concerns.

Sign the petition below to urge Mars Inc. to eliminate Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, and all other artificial dyes from M&Ms and other candy products. Send a message to candy manufacturers by boycotting candies that contain artificial dyes in favor of natural products.


Dear Mr. Michaels,

Many artificial dyes used in popular candies are already banned in Europe for health reasons. Artificial dyes, including Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, have been linked to hyperactivity in children. The growing number of hyperactivity disorder diagnoses in America is a serious problem. An estimated one-tenth of American school-age children have received a hyperactivity disorder diagnosis, which is unacceptable. While M&Ms and other candies are not causing the problem, they are triggering it and making the symptoms worse.

Artificial dyes are unnecessary and do not contribute to the taste of your candies. Many other candy companies have already stopped using petroleum-based dyes in favor of all-natural alternatives. Now is the time to follow suit. Kids should be allowed to enjoy an occasional sweet treat, but those treats should not come with unwanted side effects.

I am urging you to work with experts in the field to replace artificial dyes in your M&Ms and other candies with natural ingredients. Natural coloring should not alter the taste of your products. Americans are willing to sacrifice unnecessary colors for the sake of health and well-being. Thank you for doing your part to make candies enjoyable and safe for consumption.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mr. Tin DC via Flickr

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