California Bill Could Ban the Sale of Iconic Candies

According to KTLA, a bill currently being proposed in California has the potential to prohibit the sale of certain food products, such as Skittles, Hot Tamales candy, and Dubble Bubble Twist Gum, due to the presence of chemicals that are considered hazardous and harmful by proponents of the legislation.

Assemblymembers Jesse Gabriel and Buffy Wicks have introduced a bill, AB 418, that recommends discontinuing the production, sale, and distribution of food items containing Red Dye No. 3, Titanium Dioxide, Potassium Bromate, Brominated Vegetable Oil, or Propyl Paraben in California.

In a news release issued by Gabriel's office, it was stated that these chemicals have the potential to result in severe health issues such as an elevated risk of cancer, harm to the immune system, and behavioral disorders in children.

Although the names of these chemicals may be unfamiliar to most Californians, they can be present in commonly consumed food and beverage products. Label Insights reports that Titanium Dioxide can be found in items such as cupcakes, trail mix, and ice cream. Similarly, Propylparaben can be found in caramel chocolate.

“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 in a statement. “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 stated that numerous chemicals that would be prohibited under the proposed legislation have not been independently assessed by the FDA or subjected to re-evaluation in many years.

“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,” a news release stated.

“As a result of this loophole, chemical companies have added new substances to the food supply with almost no meaningful federal oversight.”

For the bill to be enacted, it would have to pass both chambers of the state legislature and receive approval from Governor Gavin Newsom. If the bill progresses, California would be the first state to have such a regulation.

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