California has introduced a new law, informally called the “Skittles ban,” aimed at banning specific harmful food additives by 2027. These additives have been associated with health risks such as cancer and hyperactivity in children.
Although the term “Skittles” is used in the nickname, the candy itself is not affected. Titanium dioxide, initially considered for the ban, was later removed from the list despite its link to DNA damage.
The Food and Drug Administration has banned some of these chemicals due to inadequate assessments conducted over several decades. For example, brominated vegetable oil restrictions were imposed in the 1970s, raising concerns about potential heart effects.
Red dye No. 3 faced restrictions in the 1990s due to a possible connection to thyroid cancer, discovered through unpublished animal research.
The law is expected to lead to minor formulation changes in affected products, impacting the entire candy industry in the U.S. This legislation underscores the importance of regularly reviewing the safety of food additives and encourages manufacturers to develop safer alternatives, promoting a more responsible and health-conscious food industry. The “Skittles ban” is a positive step toward safer food choices, emphasizing transparency and consumer rights.