You might not know this, but one of your favorite Halloween candies could be hiding a spooky secret ingredient: Red Dye No. 3. This food additive has been shown to cause cancer in animals, and yet it’s still being used in a variety of food products today.
Here’s what you need to know about Red Dye No. 3 so you can make informed choices about the food your family eats from Halloween — and all year round.
What is Red dye No. 3?
Red dye No. 3 is a synthetic food coloring that is used to give food a reddish tint. It’s commonly found in candies, baked goods, and even some medications and supplements.
Is Red dye No. 3 safe?
The short answer is no. In 1990, the FDA banned the use of Red dye No. 3 in cosmetics and externally applied drugs after animal studies showed that it caused cancer. However, the FDA has failed to take any action since then to prohibit its use in food products.
Consumer Reports and a coalition of safety groups are petitioning the FDA to stop stalling and take action on this dangerous food additive. Help us ban Red Dye No. 3 in anything your family ingests — including food, medicine, and supplements!
What can I do to protect my family?
In the meantime, the best way to protect your family from exposure to Red Dye No. 3 is to avoid foods that contain it. When shopping for groceries, be sure to check labels for any mention of “Red Dye No. 3”, “FD&C Red #3”, or “Erythrosine”. You can also find lists of foods that contain Red Dye No. 3 online, so you can make informed choices about what your family eats.
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