Stop Selling Toxic Hummingbird Nectar


Target: Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food at U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Goal: Disallow the production and sale of toxic hummingbird feeder nectar.

Most hummingbird nectar that is sold at general stores in the United States contains red dye #40, which is extremely harmful to hummingbirds. Hummingbirds that consume this kind of nectar develop many health problems, and the production and sale of this type of nectar must be stopped.

Many big-name companies that sell red nectar for hummingbird feeders were notified of the harmful effects of the red dye to hummingbirds. Yet, they have not made any changes in their products by not adding the dye. Opponents of the red dye in nectar voice their opinions that companies continue to place the red dye in their nectar as a marketing advantage. The red dye distinguishes the nectar from other clear, plain, homemade sugar water, which may make it more appealing to buyers. The value of marketing the nectar product should not undermine the health of the birds that the nectar is for.

The red dye #40 does not get metabolized by hummingbirds, and therefore it passes through their kidneys, causing damage. Furthermore, hummingbirds do not need red dye in the bird feeders to attract them to the feeders. The red-colored feeders and the scent of the nectar is enough to attract them. Therefore, the red dye is not necessary.

By signing the petition below, you are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to put a stop to hummingbird nectar companies adding red dye #40 to their products. Enough numbers of hummingbirds have been unnecessarily affected by this dangerous petrochemical, and it is time to take the necessary government measures to effectively stop this from continuing.


Dear Michael R. Taylor,

Most of the hummingbird feeder nectars being sold at stores in the U.S. contain the petrochemical red dye #40, which purportedly harms hummingbirds that consume it. Major bird feeder companies, such as Perky-Pet, are repeatedly told by various animal welfare groups to stop using this dye, yet they refuse to take the health of hummingbirds into consideration and continue using the dye. This chemical purportedly affects hummingbirds by damaging their kidneys, which may lead to further bodily complications and ultimately death.

Please urge U.S. hummingbird feeder nectar companies to stop using red dye #40 in their nectar. The health of hummingbirds affected by consumption of this dye is in your hands, so please decide to make the right decision.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: dalioPhoto

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  1. serena salovich says:

    Please stop this cruel act.

  2. Disgusting

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    While red dye isn’t necessary, there’s been no conclusive proof that it’s harmful to hummingbirds (I’d love to see more studies on this). Still, why take the risk?

  4. Heather Brophy says:


  5. Nite Owl says:

    I stopped using the store bought red nectar years ago. It’s just as easy to make up the sugar 1 part to 4 parts of water. Boil water, turn off heat, add sugar, stir and cool. Takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. They empty the feeder in 2 days during nesting season. The orioles also like it and are very smart. Since they can’t get into the yellow center part they move from one side to the other and get what drips out.

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