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Candy Crush: California Bill Would Ban the Sale of Skittles



In a Nutshell:

  • California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 418, introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, proposes banning the sale of processed foods containing certain chemicals deemed harmful.
  • If approved by the California State Senate, the bill would make California the first state in the US to prohibit these chemicals in processed foods.
  • The bill encourages companies to modify their recipes, much like they have in countries where these chemicals are already banned.

The California legislature is considering a new bill that could potentially alter the ingredient composition of many popular snacks, candies, and other foods available for sale.

Introduced by Jesse Gabriel, a Democratic assemblymember from Woodland Hills, California, the legislation seeks to prohibit the sale of processed foods that contain specific chemicals deemed to be harmful and toxic.

The measure, known as Assembly Bill (AB) 418, prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any food product in California containing certain chemicals, such as red dye No. 3, titanium dioxide, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, and propylparaben.

The legislation underscores that each chemical listed is currently banned in the European Union due to scientific evidence suggesting their harmful effects.

Gabriel, who also chairs the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, refers to various studies and reports that suggest these additives can pose risks to the reproductive and immune systems, cause behavioral issues in children, and increase the risk of cancer in animals.

Gabriel stated, “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.”

The Assembly approved AB 418 on Monday, May 15.

If it passes the California State Senate, the Golden State would become the first in the nation to ban the use of these chemicals in processed foods.


Notably, red dye No. 3 is already prohibited in cosmetics since 1990.

The bill is expected to be reviewed in committees in the upcoming weeks.

However, Gabriel clarified in an email to that the intention is not to implement an outright ban of products like Skittles, but rather to encourage companies to modify their recipes to exclude the specified chemicals.

“Skittles and many other brands have already made changes to their recipes in the European Union, the UK, and other nations where these chemicals are banned,” Gabriel said.

“We simply want them to do the same thing in the United States.”


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