Candy makers push back on California’s controversial so-called “Skittles ban”

Big food groups aren’t thrilled about Governor Gavin Newsom signing AB 418, known as the California Food Safety Act, sometimes referred to colloquially as the “Skittles ban,” into law on Saturday. The historic legislation bans the “manufacturing, selling, delivering, distributing, holding, or offering for sale” of food products that contain four dangerous additives — brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, and red dye 3 — beginning on Jan. 1, 2027.

The additives are currently found in about 12,000 candies (including Skittles), cereals, and sodas, per Eater. California is the first state to enact such a ban on the additives, which have already been outlawed in the European Union.Although the contentious law strives to prohibit the use of carcinogens and food toxins, it’s facing ardent backlash from several food groups — like the National Confectioners Association (NCA) — that argue AB 418 isn’t rooted in science and will “create confusion around food safety.”

“They’re making decisions based on soundbites rather than science,” the NCA said, per Food Safety News. “Governor Newsom’s approval of this bill will undermine consumer confidence and create confusion around food safety.”The NCA continued, “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 rely on the scientific rigor of the FDA to evaluate the safety of food ingredients and additives.”The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, claimed otherwise, saying all the aforementioned additives “have been evaluated by the FDA” in an email sent to NBC Los Angeles.