Today I discovered something that depressed me as much as learning there was no Santa Claus: my favorite holiday candy is loaded with harmful food dyes. Candy canes, a mainstay of the holiday season, contain Red 40, a synthetic food dye associated with severe allergic reactions and contaminated with carcinogens. But worse still, was learning that the package of Brach’s holiday nougats my mother sends me every year have, in addition to Red 40, Red 3, which was banned by the FDA for use in cosmetics and has caused thyroid tumors in animal studies.
If you’re searching for some dye-free stocking stuffers this year, check out www.naturalcandystore.com, which sells natural sweets made without these dyes. Also, check out the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s food database to find out whether your favorite holiday sweets are naughty or nice.
And, if you haven’t already, sign our letter to General Mills, asking them to stop using harmful food dyes in products sold here in the U.S. (they sell naturally-dyed foods to their European customers!).