M&Ms were created in 1941 by Franklin Clarence Mars. Namely he was the founder of Mars Inc. and starter the first Mars candy factory in 1911 in Tacoma, Washington. Nowadays the most popular candies of this company are the M&Ms.
Today these candies are sold in over 100 countries with 33 different fillings. Also there are some interesting facts surrounding these candies. For example the candy-coated chocolate ones were created specially for the soldiers, so they could carry chocolate with them without worrying of the melting. That where their logo comes in – “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”.
If you are wondering what the two “M”s represent, you should know that the one is for Forest E. Mars Senior and the other one is for William F. R. Murrie, the son of Hershey chocolate’s president who had a 20% share in the product. Due to their partnership, Mars was allowed to use Hershey chocolate in the products. We need to mention that Hershey had control of the rationed chocolate at the time.
Due to consumers’ health concerns of suspected carcinogen found in dye FD&C Red #2, in 1976, the red candies were eliminated. The Red candies were brought back in 1986. From that day the Mars Inc. started receiving petitions about removing the artificial colors.
According to a press release from Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and a petition by Change.org, these artificial colors contain “neurotoxic chemicals”.
This petition was similar to that of Kraft, which was urging them to remove the dangerous Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 from its Macaroni and Cheese. This petition was supported by more than 350,000 signatures.
The CSPI insisted the petition to recommend warning labels listing the alleged risks of eight approved FD&C food colors. According to CSPI’s Dr. Jacobson, this petrochemicals can worsen some children’s behavior.
He suggested that the committee should advise the agency require warning notices and encourage companies voluntarily to switch to safer and natural colorings.
Now here are some of the current ingredients which are listed on a bag of Original M&Ms:
Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, skim milk, milk fat, lactose, soy lecithin, salt, artificial color), sugar, cornstarch, >1% corn syrup, dextrin, artificial colors (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.
What is the harm of these ingredients:
- Soy lecithin: it is very important for you to know that 93% of soy is genetically modified. The soy lecithin is very dangerous for you, because it can cause breast cancer. It also has negative effects on fertility and reproduction and may lead to behavioral and cerebral abnormalities.
You should also know that “Lake” within these artificial colors means that salt was added to the color, which makes the color insoluble in liquids.
- Blue #1: this additive produces malignant tumors. Possible side effects of consuming it include asthma, hives, hay fever, low blood pressure, allergic reactions. You should be extra careful if you are aspirin sensitive.
- Red #40: this additive can damage your DNA. It also causes swelling around the mouth, hives, hyperactivity in children and even cancer.
- Yellow #6: this additive is also very dangerous, because it can cause cancer, hyperactivity, allergic reactions, diarrhea, vomiting, nettle rash, migraines and swelling of the skin.
- Yellow #5: is an additive that can cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity, and cancer.
- Blue #2: is a petroleum based product with a chemical formula of C16H10N2O2. This product increases the hyperactivity in children, and it also increases the brain tumors in lab rats and causes other abnormal cell development.
- Gum Acacia: this is a dietary fiber from the Acacia tree. This fiber causes gas, bloating, nausea and loose stool.
Even after all the petitions and complains, the Mars Inc. has continued to use these artificial colors, and all of that because according to FDA these additives are safe for human consumption.
Even though there are other natural, safe color alternatives, they choose to ignore the science. In 2007 Forbes reported that Mars, Inc. had a profit of $ 27.4 million dollars. We can all agree that with that profit the can afford to make some positive changes to their products. Until then they should not see a penny of your money.
Source: Living Traditionally
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