What gives M&Ms their bright colors? That depends on which country you're in.
Mars Inc. primarily uses artificial food coloring for the candy in the United States, but M&Ms derive their candy coloring from natural sources in Europe.
Now a Change.org petition begun by Renee Shutters and the Center for Science in the Public Interest is calling on Mars to stop using artificial dyes in its American M&Ms as well. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 142,000 supporters.
"I just could not believe that something so small could make that big of a difference," Shutters says.
European lawmakers moved to require warning labels on foods containing certain artificial colorings after a 2007 study found a slight increase in hyperactivity among children consuming a mixture of the dyes and a preservative.
The required label reads: "May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children."
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