Clarence Mars is the man who founded the famous Mars inc in Tacoma, Washington, 1911. This company is famous for its candies known as M&Ms.

These candies were made in 1941 and today they can be found in over 100 countries with 33 different fillings. The real reason why these candy-coated chocolates were created in the first place is very interesting. They were made to allow soldiers to carry chocolate without worrying of it melting. You probably have already heard the old saying: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”.


The two “M”s represent Forest E. Mars Senior and William F. R. Murrie, the son of Hershey chocolate’s president who owns 20% of the shares in this product. In this way Mars can use Hershey chocolate in their products. Hershey controlled the rationed chocolate at the time.

Back in 1976, the Red candies were removed because of the consumers’ health concerns of assumed carcinogen discovered in dye FD&C Red#2. The red candies were back in sale in 1986 and petitions about eliminating the unnatural dyes from the product has continued to arrive at Mars, inc’s address.

A petition by Change.org and a press release from Center for Science in the Public Interest explained that the unnatural dye in this product is “neurotoxic chemical”.

This petition reminds to that conducted for Kraft, pressing them to eliminate the harmful Yellow#5 and Yellow#6 from its Macaroni and Cheese where 350.000 people signed this petition.

The CSPI demanded the petition to obligate warning labels listing the supposed risks of eight approved FD&C food dyes. The CSPI’s Dr Jacobson stated: The proof that these petrochemicals affect negatively on some children’s behavior is conclusive. I really hope that committee will urge the agency to both require warning notices and obligate companies to substitute the existing ones with natural and safer dyes.”

Let’s have a closer look at the today’s ingredients listed on a bag of Original M&Ms:

Milk chocolate (cocoa butter, skim milk, milk fat, sugar, chocolate, lactose, salt, soy lecithin, unnatural color), cornstarch, sugar, >1% syrup, dextrin, unnatural dyes (Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2), gum acacia.

Which harmful effects do these ingredients bring?

Soy Lecithin: 93% of the soy around the world is GMO. Soy lecithin can be reason for breast cancer, negative effects on fertility and reproduction, may result with behavioral and cerebral anomalies.

You have noticed that there is a word “Lake” included in these unnatural dyes. It means that salt was added in the dye. This is what makes the dye insoluble in liquids.

Blue#1: creates malignant tumors at the spot of injection in mice. Its side effects include hives, hay fever, low blood pressure, asthma, allergic reactions. If you are sensitive to aspirin it is highly recommended to be more careful with this ingredient.

Red#40: Harms the DNA, triggers swelling in the area around the mouth, hyperactivity in kids, cancer and hives.

Yellow#6: Can promote development of cancer, allergic reactions, puking, diarrhea, hyperactivity, nettle rash, swelling on the skin and migraines.

Yellow#5: Can trigger hyperactivity, allergic reactions and development of cancer.

Blue#2: this ingredient is based on petroleum and its chemical formula is C16H10N2O2. It makes the kids hyperactive, causes brain tumors in mice and other abnormal cell development.

Gum Acacia: This ingredient is dietary fiber that comes from the Acacia tree. It can cause loose stool, nausea, gas and bloating.

Still, the Mars company decided to change nothing and continue to use these unnatural dyes because the FDA approved them as safe for human health. They are ignoring the scientific info that proves the negative effects even though there are natural, safe dye solutions. In 2007 the Forbes released a report that Mars, inc made a profit of $27.4 million dollars. This is a clear sign that they are able to make some changes in their products.

Source: http://livingtraditionally.com/

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