The Mars company was founded in 1911, by F.C. Mars and one of their most famous product is their addictive M&M candies.
The production of M&Ms began in 1941 and their popularity hasn’t decreased ever since. They are currently sold in 33 different varieties in over 100 countries all around the world. Their famous hard coating was specifically designed with the intention of providing the troops with chocolate that wouldn’t easily melt.
The name of the candies is derived from the last names of the two major shareholders of the product, W.F.R. Murrie – from Hershey’s chocolate, and F.E. Mars – the owner of the product. Their mutual partnership allowed Mars to use Hershey’s chocolate in M&Ms, because they had the concession to use the chocolate rations.
The history of M&Ms, has not been a smooth one. Their red candies were taken out of the product in 1976 because there was suspicion about carcinogens in the dye they used to coat them – FD&C Red #2. However, a decade later they were again included in the final product, despite the many petitions they received.
According from a press release from the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), these colors are actually neurotoxic chemicals. The press release was followed by a petition on Change.org.
This is not the first case of the public petitioning against artificial coloring. There was also the petition against Craft to remove their Yellow Nr.5 and 6 from their Macaroni and Cheese which reached 350,000 signatures.
The CSPI advised that the petition should urge manufacturers to include labels that describe the alleged risks of eight different FD&C colors that were approved for use. According to Dr. Jacobson, from the center “the evidence that these petrochemicals make some children’s behavior worse is convincing.I hope that the committee will advise the agency to both require warning notices and encourage companies voluntarily to switch to safer natural colorings.”
But the saddest truth is that, apart from the colors, there are other health hazards found in this famous candy. The full list is as follows:
Sugar, milk chocolate (cocoa butter,chocolate, sugar, salt, milk fat, lactose, skim milk, lecithin, artificial color), cornstarch, dextrin, gum acacia, >1% corn syrup, and artificial colors (Red 40 Lake,Red 40, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6,Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake).
Breakdown of the dangerous ingredients found in M&Ms:
- Soy lecithin:About 93% of the soy used today is GMO. The soy leticin has also been linked to various health problems like cerebral and behavioral defects, problems with reproduction and infertility, and even breast cancer.
- Gum Acacia:this ingredient is a fiber that was made from the Acacia tree. It can lead to loose stool, gas, nausea and bloating.
The word “Lake”added to the color names means that the color was made by adding salt to it, so that it will not dissolve in liquids.
- Blue #1:This color was found to cause malignant tumors when consumed or injected in rats. It can also lead to hay fever, allergic reactions, asthma, low blood pressure and hives. It should also not be consumed by people with aspirin sensitivity.
- Yellow #6:This color is known to lead to various health problems like diarrhea, allergic reactions, vomiting, hyperactivity, migraines nettle rash, skin swelling, and even cancer.
- Blue #2: This color can lead to increased risk of brain tumors in rats, but also to higher hyperactivity in children and defective cell growth.
- Yellow #5:leads to hyperactivity, allergic reactions and cancer.
- Red #40:was found to cause damage to the DNA, and lead to hives, mouth swellings, hyperactivity in children, and cancer.
Despite all protests, the company still keeps using these toxic colors, just because the FDA has approved them as safe to humans. Despite the scientific evidence and the existence of safer and more organic alternatives, the colors are still found in their products.
The best thing to do to protect yourself is keep avoiding their products, until they decide to cut down on their profit and make some changes for the health of their customers.