Bowling may be on its way out in one of the nation’s largest states. A new bill introduced in California looks to ban a group of ingredients found in both Skittles and a whole host of other candies. When it comes to Skittles, the bill is looking to ban titanium dioxide, an ingredient added to candy to help create the smooth texture. It is also a compound banned by the European Union due to its association with an increased risk of cancer.
In addition to titanium oxide, the four other ingredients listed in Bill AB 418 are red dye No. 3 (erythrosine), potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, and propylparaben. Red Dye #3 can be found in many other candies including PEZ, Hot Tamales, and Dubble Bubble Gum. Citrus soft drinks are the largest food product containing brominated vegetable oils as an ingredient while titanium oxide can also be found in Nerds and other gummy products.
The bill was introduced by Jesse Gabriel and if it passes, California will be the first state in the country to ban the ingredients. “California residents should not worry that the food they buy at their neighborhood grocery store may be full of dangerous additives or toxic chemicals,” Gabriel said in a statement first announcing the bill. “The bill will correct this troubling lack of federal oversight and help protect our children, the public health, and the safety of our food supply.”
Gabriel chairs the California Privacy and Consumer Protection Association committee, which is working in part with the Environmental Working Group to get the bill passed through the state legislature.
“Why are these toxic chemicals in our food?” Susan Little, senior advocate for government affairs at the EWG, added in the statement. “We know that they are harmful and that children are more likely than adults to eat these chemicals. It does not make sense that the same products that California food manufacturers sell in the EU but without these toxic chemicals. We thank Assembly Member Gabrielle for efforts to remove these toxic additives of the California food supply.
While the language of the bill would technically ban Skittles and many other candies from sale in California in their current form, the assembly member said in a recent interview with NBC He hopes that the companies that make the products will be willing to find a way to change the recipes.
“There is no realistic chance that this law will lead to Skittles or any other product being pulled from the shelf, and that is not the intent at all,” Gabriel told the network. “The idea here is for these companies to make slight adjustments to their recipes so that these products don’t contain dangerous, toxic chemicals.”