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Newsom Enacts Law Banning Popular Snacks Due To Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Source: CalMatters / DADO RUVIC

In November, California’s governor Gavin Newsom enacted a bill that will prohibit the sale and manufacturing of several popular snacks in the state. The legislation targets to remove snacks that have various “toxic” and cancer-causing ingredients such as brominated vegetable oil and potassium bromate. This could see popular snacks such as Skittles PEZ and over junk foods removed from the market. 

United States Companies Face Scrutiny 

In recent years, several snack companies in the United States have faced scrutiny because of potentially carcinogenic or cancer-causing ingredients that are in their products. 

Source: Unsplash/Patrick Fore

As a response, California Governor Gavin Newsom enacted a bill last fall that bans the manufacturing and sale of snacks that contain specific ingredients, according to Fox Business.

New Snack Legislation Takes Effect 2027

California’s new legislation takes effect sometime in the beginning of 2027, violations of this will lead to penalties.

Source: Flickr/Patrick Fore

California isn’t the only state looking to ban harmful ingredients. New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Missouri, and Pennsylvania are all working on new food laws.

Negative Effects Of United States Snacks 

Newsom’s recent legislation will ban American snack companies from putting ingredients such as potassium bromate, propylparaben, brominated vegetable oil, and red dye 3 into their food.

Source: Unsplash/Vinicius “amnx” Amano

According to researchers, these ingredients are directly associated with neurobehavioral effects in children, digestive problems, and an increased risk of cancer, according to Consumer Reports.

New York Develop New legislation 

The state of New York is also trying to implement a new law that will “prohibit the use of certain substances as food additives or color additives in the manufacture and commercial distribution of food products.”

Source: Unsplash/Iwona Castiello d’Antonio

Similar to California, the New York Senate is trying to ban propylparaben, red dye 3, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, and titanium dioxide.  

Food Agencies Declare Brominated Vegetable Oil Isn’t Safe

Last November, the Food and Drug Administration declared they had plans to denounce the use of brominated vegetable oil following various studies, “clearly show adverse health effects in animals in levels more closely approximating real-world exposure.” 

Source: Freepik

The FDA made a statement that they “can no longer conclude that this use of BVO in food is safe.”

United States Introduce Bills To Ban Cancer-Causing Ingredients

Pennsylvania and Missouri appear to be looking towards following in California’s footsteps, lawmakers in the states are currently working on a bill to prohibit the use of several ingredients in their snacks.

Source: Unsplash/Pete Wright

Illinois implemented its own variation of the bill last fall that prohibits the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of food items and drinks that have brominated vegetable oil, propylparaben, potassium bromate, and red dye 3.   

Potential Impact Of Food Products 

Numerous popular American snacks, including PEZ candy, Skittles, Hot Tamales, Jelly Bean Candy Corn, and PediaSure Grow & Gain Strawberry shake, may face changes. 

Source: Unsplash/Patrick Fore

While these snacks won’t be prohibited, they will have to make adjustments to their recipes to adhere to the new laws.

California Assemblyman Opposes Snack Ban  

While Gabriel played a key role in the drafting of the Californian bill, he emphasizes it won’t lead to a ban on Skittles and other foods, stating, “I would vote against a bill to ban Skittles.” 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“What we’re really trying to get them to do is to change their recipes,” he told the newspaper. “All of these are nonessential ingredients.” 

California Legislator Comments On Recent Legislation

Jesse Gabriel, a Democratic state Assemblyman for Calfironia and proponent of the new bill, believes the new laws will help protect the state’s children.

Source: Unsplash/Denny Müller

“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 news release. “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.”

Toxic Chemicals In Our Food 

The Environmental Working Group’s Governmental Affairs Senior Advocate for California, Susan Little, has questions as to why toxic chemicals are in our food to begin with.  

Source: Unsplash/Gaining Visuals

“Why are these toxic chemicals in our food?” Little said in a statement. 

Our Children Are Ingesting Too Many Chemicals

Little continued to explain that the exact same snacks are sold all over Europe and the UK, however they don’t contain any of the ingredients set to be banned by California. 

Source: Unsplash/Ryland Dean

She said, “We know they are harmful and that children are likely eating more of these chemicals than adults. It makes no sense that the same products food manufacturers sell in California are sold in the EU but without these toxic chemicals.”

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Athena Hallet

Written by Athena Hallet

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