Skittles And Campbell's Soup Could Soon Be Banned In California

Your favorite snacks may soon be hard to come by if you live in California. The Washington Examiner reports that the state's lawmakers are considering a bill that would effectively ban certain chemical additives found in several foods, including Pez, Campbell's soup, Skittles, and Sour Patch Kids. The proposed ban would prohibit the sale of foods containing these additives in the state, as well as the production of foods containing these additives, even if they will be sold elsewhere.

The bill was introduced by State Assembly member Jesse Gabriel and would ban five food additives that it outlines as harmful for consumption. Three of the five substances have already been banned in the European Union for the same reason. Many of the products that would be affected by the proposed ban are still available in the European Union, but use different ingredients in place of these food additives.

"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. 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," Gabriel said in a Febuary 22 statement. This would be the first ban of its kind in the United States, where the FDA is typically the ruling body when it comes to food safety across the nation.

Food additives have been linked to serious health concerns

The five food chemicals listed in the ban include propylparaben, red dye 3, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, and titanium dioxide. According to CNET, each has been linked to — or cannot be ruled out as — various health hazards including cancer, harm to reproductive health, behavioral issues in children, and harm to the immune system as well.

Titanium dioxide was also the subject of a 2022 California lawsuit that alleged the artificial coloring was a "known toxin" that builds up in the body over time, reported the Los Angeles Times. The European Food Safety Authority declared it to be unsafe as a food additive back in 2021. Mars Inc., the creator of Skittles who was named in the suit, had formerly promised to phase out the use of the ingredient in 2016, but never did so, the Times added.

The Environmental Working Group's Governmental Affairs Senior Advocate for California Susan Little said in a February 22 statement that these substances are often consumed more by children than adults and pose a health risk. "It makes no sense that the same products food manufacturers sell in California are sold in the EU but without these toxic chemicals. Our kids need to be protected, too," the statement read.