Proposed California bill would ban sale of Skittles

Skittles contain “dangerous” chemicals that could impact consumers, lawmaker says

No. 7: Skittles

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A California lawmaker has put forward legislation aimed at banning the sale of certain processed foods in California — including Skittles.

Assembly member Jesse Gabriel introduced Assembly Bill 418, which is aimed at eliminating the sale, manufacture and distribution of food products with any of the following substances.

  • Brominated Vegetable Oil
  • Potassium Bromate
  • Propylparaben
  • Red Dye 3 (Erythosine)
  • Titanium Dioxide

According to Gabriel’s office, each of the chemicals is currently banned in the European Union due to studies that show they can have potential health impacts like increased risk of cancer, behavioral issues in children, harm to the reproductive system and damage to the immune system.

“Californians shouldn’t have to worry that the food they buy in their neighborhood grocery store might be full of dangerous additives or toxic chemicals,” Gabriel said. “This bill will correct for a concerning lack of federal oversight and help protect our kids, public health, and the safety of our food supply.”

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While Skittles includes chemicals from the list in its ingredients, it’s not the only food product to do so. In fact, many other food products share ingredients mentioned in the bill.

Consumer Reports announced Monday that these ingredients could be found in foods and drinks like sodas, baked goods, frozen foods, dumplings, packaged tortillas, cake icing, cereals, paint, cosmetics, coffee creamers and plenty of other types of candies.

“Shockingly, most of these chemicals have never been independently evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or were last reviewed decades ago,” Gabriel’s office stated in a release. “Instead, these chemicals have entered the nation’s food supply through a loophole in federal law — known as GRAS, or ‘generally recognized as safe’ — that was intended to apply to common household ingredients like vinegar.”

If enacted, the bill would make California the first state in the country to ban the use of these types of chemicals. It would go into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.