Skittles May Be Banned in California if New Bill Passes

Skittles could be on the way out in one of the country's biggest states. A new bill introduced in the state of California is looking to ban a group of ingredients found in both Skittles and a whole host of other candies. When it comes to Skittles, the bill is looking to ban titanium dioxide, an ingredient added to the candies to help create a smooth texture. It also happens to be a compound banned by the European Union for its link to an increased risk of cancer.

In addition to titanium oxide, the four other ingredients included in bill AB 418 are Red Dye No. 3 (Erythrosine), potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, and propyl paraben. Red Dye No. 3 can be found in many other candies including PEZ, Hot Tamales, and Dubble Bubble Gum. Citrus soft drinks are the biggest food product with brominated vegetable oil as an ingredient while titanium oxide can also be found in Nerds and other various gummy products.

The bill was introduced by Jesse Gabriel and if passed, California would be the first state in the country to ban the ingredients. "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 first announcing the bill. "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 chairs California's Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, which is working in part with the Environmental Working Group on passing the bill through state legislature.

"Why are these toxic chemicals in our food?" EWG Governmental Affairs Senior Advocate Susan Little added in the statement. "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. We thank Assemblymember Gabriel's efforts to remove these toxic additives from California's food supply."

While the language of the bill would technically ban Skittles and many other candies from sale in California in their current form, the assemblyman said in a recent interview with NBC that he hopes the companies that produce the products will be willing to find a way to alter the recipes.

"There is no realistic chance that this bill will result in Skittles or any other product being pulled off the shelf and that is absolutely not the intent," Gabriel told the network. "The idea here is for these companies to make minor modifications to their recipes so that these products don't include dangerous and toxic chemicals."