Urban Legends and Beliefs

Green m&ms

The story: Mars, Inc., the makers of M&Ms, was brought into court and heavily fined when it was discovered that the candy coating on the green-colored M&M chocolate candies contained an aphrodisiac. The candy company was involved in an insidious plot to stimulate innocent children sexually with the substance in the green M&Ms and drive them into the hands of pornographers. In addition to the aphrodisiac in the candy coating, Mars, Inc., had launched a series of television commercials featuring scantily clad models whose poses were designed to arouse the children even further and suggest how they themselves might pose for the child pornographers. Conscientious consumers were urged to cease supporting a candy company that was in league with the manufacturers of child porn, and parents were advised to write their congresspersons and demand that the product be taken off the market.

It is difficult to trace the origins of this urban legend about the green candy with the bizarre erotic stimulant mixed into its coating, but it appears to have begun sometime early in 1993 on the Internet with e-mails informing parents to insist upon legal action against Mars, Inc., for becoming participants in the insidious child porn business. Some researchers have theorized that the rumor may have begun when Mars, Inc., actually did appear in court in 1992 to obtain a cease and desist order against Cool Chocolate, Inc., a competitor that had started to manufacture a green-coated chocolate that it was calling "The Green Ones." The attorneys for Mars, Inc., argued that the product was too similar to M&Ms, and the court ruled in favor of the long-established makers of the popular colored-coated chocolate. Cool Chocolate, Inc., was ordered to cease producing its rival line of candies. Since the urban legend began shortly after the court case had concluded, it is possible that the purpose of Mars, Inc.'s, day in court became woefully distorted into an outrageous accusation associating the candy company with child pornography.

The origin of the claim that Mars, Inc., also created a series of erotic commercials to promote further the ingestion of the aphrodisiac-coated green M&Ms among children remains a mystery. True to the tradition of urban legends, no one can actually recall seeing any scantily clad models in the familiar commercials promoting the candy that "melts in your mouth, not in your hands," except, of course, for a "friend of a friend."

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