It's an ingredient that's already banned from cosmetics because it's believed to be a carcinogen, but it remains legal in certain candies including one that is a long-time Missouri favorite during the Easter season. Could it be that people are unknowingly enjoying a secret killer?

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There's an interesting list on the Food and Drug Administration's website listing color additives status. One in particular is extremely controversial and it's been a part of Missouri's favorite Easter candy for years. It's red dye #3. Here is the exact FDA status for this ingredient:

FD&C Red #3 - Food and ingested drugs...May no longer be used in cosmetics, external drugs, and lakes.

So Red Dye #3 is OK for food and ingested drugs, but not cosmetics? A curious decision for an ingredient directly connected to cancer. The FDA admits they are "currently reviewing" a petition to have it removed from foods.

What Missouri favorite Easter candy has had Red Dye #3 in it?

Answer - Peeps

There is some good news on the Peeps front as Consumer Reports shared that the manufacturer of Peeps was removing Red Dye #3 from many of its products by Easter of 2024. The key word is "many", but not all. Live Now from Fox quotes a Peeps spokesperson as saying "For Easter 2024, of all our PEEPS offerings, two colors will contain Red #3 – Pink and Lavender".

If you want to see how hot a topic this is, you should read the comments on a Quora question about whether Peeps are really safe to eat. Until the FDA gets done with their "review", it will remain the decision of the consumers about whether they and/or their kids want to take the chance that a popular candy could unintentionally be a secret killer.

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