Write a news story

Write a 5-6 paragraph story in inverted pyramid style for tomorrow’s edition of the Post. Please use both quotes provided. You should not use the entire quote, just parts of it. Quotes should be no more than 1-2 sentences long. Please make sure your lead is just one sentence. Your copy should be double-spaced. Use AP style guidelines.

Note: Use your own words. Do not lift phrases directly from the text!


-Blue Dye #6 has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA made this announcement today). Blue Dye #6 is a food coloring additive

-Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered it may cause cancer in laboratory rats. More testing needs to be done, but the FDA doesn’t want to take risks

-Blue Dye #6 is mainly found in candy such as blue M&M’s, blue Starbursts, blue lollipops, and blue gumballs. Most other products use Blue Dye #4 which has been deemed safe.

-M&M Mars, the company that produces M&M’s issued a statement, attributed to CEO Peter Hammond, that says “For the safety of our customers, we will stop using Blue Dye #6 immediately. All of our candies will be made and sold without this ingredient until the FDA is sure it is safe for everybody.”

-Many people have been contacting doctors and candy companies and the FDA to find out if they’re in danger … especially people who eat a lot of candy

-The NIH spokesman, Freda Billingsly, issued this statement: “Our scientists have discovered that an inordinate number of lab rats being fed a diet high in Blue Dye #6 have tested positive for cancer. While we can’t be absolutely sure Blue Dye #6 is the cause, we do not want to take chances. We notified the FDA immediately upon making our conclusions. More studies are being held on this food coloring.”

-Blue M&M’s were added in 1995 after the M&M Mars sponsored a contest. Customers were invited to vote whether blue, pink or purple would replace tan M&M’s. Blue won.

-M&M Mars and The Wrigley Company, which produces Starbursts have announced that they are recalling all candies with Blue Dye #6, but anyone who had previously purchased a package of M&M’s or Starbursts can send them back for a replacement.

-Doctors are reporting that they’re seeing a sharp increase in people coming in to be checked for cancer

-M&M Mars has estimated it will cost $1million to replace the blue M&M’s. The Wrigley Company says costs will total about $800,000. Wrappers have to be replaced because they show pictures of blue M&M’s. Ingredient lists have to be changed. And equipment in the plants need to be replaced.

-Candy companies have not revealed what, if any, colors will replace blue.