Will you still be able to taste the rainbow in California, or are Skittles disappearing from the sunshine state? This question is fresh in the minds of Californians, given the passing of a recent bill, which aims to change some ingredients found in America’s popular candies and snacks. The four ingredients included in the ban include:
- Red Dye No. 3
- Brominated Vegetable Oil
- Potassium Bromate
Titanium dioxide was another ingredient originally included in the bill, and an ingredient in Skittles candy. That is why people believed that Skittles would disappear from California, but it was dropped from the ban. Skittles do contain titanium dioxide, but they don’t have any of the other four ingredients listed above. That means that the candy will be safe from any major changes, at least for now.
What Is The Skittles Ban?
Assembly Bill (AB) 418, or the Skittles ban, was introduced to legislation by Jesse Gabriel, a Democratic assembly member from Woodland Hills, California. AB418 essentially aimed to ban the sale of processed foods, which contained dangerous or toxic chemicals, in California. It quickly became known as the Skittles ban, which Mars, the makers of Skittles, strongly opposed.
In fact, Mars made a statement saying that chocolate and candy are safe to enjoy, and have been for centuries. Mars company opposes AB418 because it claims that no evidence supports banning the ingredients listed in the bill. According to Mars’ statement, those ingredients in the ban have all been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company continued to say that food safety is a number one priority, and it doesn’t include any ingredients that do not comply with FDA safety standards.
Although Mars is not incorrect in saying that these ingredients are FDA-approved, that doesn’t mean that the ingredients are healthy for you. When eaten in high amounts, these ingredients can lead to health complications, especially if they aren’t balanced by exercise and a balanced diet.
What About The Future Of The Ban?
According to Gabriel, he does not want to ban Skittles; rather, he wants to make American treats less “dangerous” to eat. He said that the idea behind this ban is for companies to make small modifications to recipes in order to exclude dangerous and toxic chemicals. In the European Union, the United Kingdom, and other nations around the world, bans on these chemicals are in place. That means that Skittles and other brands already made changes to recipes. The idea is to do the same thing in the United States.
Red Dye No. 3, for example, can contribute to potential cancer risk, according to some studies. Additionally, artificial food dyes, such as Red Dye No. 3, may contribute neurobehavioral problems in children, including hyperactivity. It is a synthetic dye primarily derived from petroleum. This dye has been banned for decades in makeup and topical medications because it was linked to cancer. What makes it okay to consume in various foods, oral drugs, or dietary supplements?
Although Skittles may be off the hook for now, there are up to 12,000 food products that still contain the banned chemicals in AB418. Peeps, the popular Easter candy, contains Red Dye No. 3, but the banning of an ingredient doesn’t mean the product goes away. Additionally, the bill doesn’t go into effect until 2027, which gives manufacturers time to change their recipes to continue sales in California. If they don’t want to change the recipe, they can decide not to sell their product in an entire state.