The makers of the beloved Easter treat Peeps will be ditching a newly banned chemical in California, according to Consumer Reports.
Just Born, the makers of Peeps, Mike & Ike’s and Hot Tamales, confirmed to Consumer Reports that it would be discontinuing the use of Red Dye No. 3 in its popular line of marshmallow candies.
Red Dye No. 3 is one of the four chemicals outlawed by the passage of Assembly Bill 418, which was authored by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) and signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month.
The other chemicals included in the ban are potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and propyl paraben, which have already been banned in 27 nations in the European Union.
Gabriel insisted that the new law would not lead to any products coming off the shelves, but would simply require manufacturers to adjust their formulas.
Just Born is one of the first major companies to confirm its intent to modify existing recipes.
Consumer Reports, which was a supporter of the legislation and previously urged Just Born to remove the ingredient, issued a news release Thursday in which it applauded the company for getting ahead of the ban, which is set to go into effect in 2027.
In a statement provided to Consumer Reports, Just Born confirmed that Peeps sold for Easter 2024 would contain Red Dye No. 3, but it will be the final year the company will use the banned chemical.
The company also said the Hot Tamales brand has already done away with the prohibited dye, and products with updated ingredient lists will be on store shelves soon.
Because of the population and massive market size of California, the legislation is expected to have significant ramifications across the country as manufacturers will likely update their recipes nationwide simply to avoid outlawed chemicals and be compliant in California.
Previously language in Gabriel’s bill also prohibited the use of titanium dioxide, but that chemical was removed from the banned additive list in final latest revision. Gabriel said that chemical was removed in an effort to get more widespread bipartisan support.
Titanium dioxide was at the center of a lawsuit filed last year by a California man who alleged that Skittles were unsafe for human consumption. Its inclusion in early versions of the bill led to many referring to the legislation as the “Skittles Ban.”