Bugs in Your Basket? PETA Offers Vegan Easter Candy Tips

For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

With Easter Sunday just around the corner, PETA is alerting parents to a surprising ingredient in some candy: confectioner’s glaze, which is created from lac bug secretions.

Nearly 100,000 insects are killed to produce about 1 pound of shellac flakes, which are combined with alcohol to make a confectioner’s glaze. While companies such as Tootsie Roll Industries and Ferrara (the maker of Red Hots and Lemonhead candies) glaze sweets with these dead-bug secretions, others keep it cruelty-free: Jelly beans made by Jolly Rancher, SweeTARTS, and Nerds—as well as the classic Gobstopper, Skittles, and Tic Tac candies—are made without insect ingredients.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—has put together a how-to guide for vegan Easter baskets here. This guide also includes tips for steering clear of carmine (a red food coloring also created from insects) and finding dairy-free chocolate, which spares mother cows—and the calves who are taken from them so that their milk can be consumed by humans instead—immense suffering.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind