Will Skittles no longer be sold in California?
That’s the question on the minds of Californians after a state bill recently passed that aims to change some of the ingredients found in America’s most popular candies and snacks.
These four ingredients are brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye No. 3.
Since titanium dioxide, an ingredient in Skittles, was originally included in the bill, many people believed the candy would be banned in California.
But, as it turns out, titanium dioxide was dropped from the ban, making Skittles exempt from the changes. And since Skittles doesn’t have any of the other four ingredients listed above, it’s safe to say that the candy is safe from any major changes — for now.
In fact, when Jesse Gabriel, a Democratic assembly member from Woodland Hills, California, introduced legislation, called Assembly Bill (AB) 418, that would ban the sale of processed foods in California that contain certain chemical that he claimed was dangerous and toxic, it quickly became known as the “Skittles ban,” which has now become a misnomer.
In response to AB418, TODAY.com reached out to Mars, the makers of Skittles, who referred us to the National Confectioners Association, as the McLean, Virginia candy conglomerate is one of the association’s largest member companies. In a statement, the Association told TODAY.com it “strongly” opposes AB418.
“Chocolate and candy are safe to enjoy, as they have been for centuries. We strongly oppose AB418 because there is no evidence to support the banning of the substances listed in the bill,” the statement read.
“The ingredients banned under this proposal are all approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Food safety is the number one priority for US confectionery companies, and we do not use any ingredients in our products that do not comply with the FDA’s strictest safety standards,” it continued.
As for Gabriel, he told TODAY.com that he doesn’t want to ban Skittles, he just wants to make American drugs less “dangerous.”
“The idea here is that these companies will make small changes in their recipes so that these products do not contain dangerous and toxic chemicals,” he said. “Skittles and many other brands have already made changes to their recipes in the European Union, the UK, and other countries where these chemicals are banned. We just want them to do the same thing in United States.”
Skittles may be obsolete now, but there are still up to 12,000 products — like Peeps, with red dye No. 3 – which could be affected by AB418.
But just because an ingredient is banned doesn’t mean an entire product is either. The bill doesn’t take effect until 2027, giving brands time to change their recipe rather than decide not to sell their product statewide.