California will officially ban Skittles and other candies from the state starting 2027 as Governor Gavin Newsom signed bill AB 418, also known as The California Food Safety Act.
Commencing on January 1, 2027, the bill targets food products that contain the substances brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben or red dye 3. Red dye 3 is found in Skittles and other confectionaries like PEZ, Hot Tamales and Dubble Bubble gum, while brominated vegetable oil is normally concocted in citrus soft drinks. As per the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, The California Food Safety Act specifies that “a person or entity shall not manufacture, sell, deliver, distribute, hold, or offer for sale, in commerce a food product for human consumption” that contains the substances listed above. “The bill would make a violation of these provisions punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for a first violation and not to exceed $10,000 for each subsequent violation, upon an action brought by the Attorney General, a city attorney, a county counsel, or a district attorney,” the bill further read.
Governor Newsom’s office shared a statement after the bill signing, ”There have been many misconceptions about this bill and its impacts. For example, attached to this message is a bag of the popular candy Skittles, which became the face of this proposal.” It continued, “This particular bag of candy comes from the European Union – a place that already bans a number of chemical additives and colorants. This is demonstrable proof that the food industry is capable of maintaining product lines while complying with different public health laws, country-to-country.”
However, the National Confectioners Association fired back at bill: “They’re making decisions based on soundbites rather than science. Governor Newsom’s approval of this bill will undermine consumer confidence and create confusion around food safety. This law replaces a uniform national food safety system with a patchwork of inconsistent state requirements created by legislative fiat that will increase food costs. This is a slippery slope that the FDA could prevent by engaging on this important topic. We should be relying on the scientific rigor of the FDA in terms of evaluating the safety of food ingredients and additives.”
Elsewhere in food and beverage, Popeyes is now the second-largest chicken chain in the US.
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