Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill into law called the California Food Safety Act. This law aims to safeguard consumers by prohibiting certain harmful food additives. These additives have raised health concerns, including red dye No. 3, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, and propylparaben.
Confusion arose when people thought that this law would ban Skittles. It’s because a long time ago, there was a version of the law that wanted to ban a thing called titanium dioxide. Skittles have this thing, but the law changed, and it won’t ban it anymore. Even if it did, companies have until 2027 to make Skittles without these harmful things.
Not only California
Interestingly, the European Commission banned the use of titanium dioxide last year. However, Skittles can still be found on shelves in Europe. The Skittles sold in European countries have been reformulated to exclude the banned chemicals. Governor Newsom himself has pointed out that Skittles continue to be sold in countries that have banned titanium dioxide.
Widespread Social Media Misinformation
People on social media got things mixed up, and now they’re saying California will ban Skittles. Some posts with this wrong information got lots of likes and views, making things even more confusing.
The concern over the banned additives is based on studies linking them to health issues. For example, red dye No. 3 has been linked to animal thyroid cancer. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned it for cosmetic use in 1990, it remained permitted in food products. Other additives, such as brominated vegetable oil and propylparaben, have also raised health concerns.
California became the first state in the nation to ban the use of four food additives commonly found in thousands of products across the United States, including skittles— My Mixtapez (@mymixtapez) October 10, 2023
📸: Yuriko Nakao/ Gettyimages pic.twitter.com/mUeoqRIogx
Public Reactions and Disputes
There are differing opinions on the California Food Safety Act. Some, like Julie Capon, the founder and CEO of the health app Luka, support the law. They believe it is a positive step for consumer health. However, food groups like the National Confectioners Association disagree. They argue that the law undermines consumer confidence and needs to be clarified around food safety.
The FDA plays a crucial role in evaluating the safety of food additives. The FDA has monitored and authorized the use of these substances, ensuring they are safe for consumption. While the European Union has taken action against titanium dioxide, not all international regulatory bodies agree with this assessment.
Governor Newsom’s Perspective
Governor Newsom’s decision to enact the law reflects his commitment to consumer safety. He believes it is a positive step until the FDA reviews and establishes updated safety levels for these additives.
So, to set the record straight, California is not banning Skittles. The law is all about making sure our food is safe to eat. What’s important is that we get the correct information and not get confused by all the noise on social media. Share your thoughts about this in the comments below!