California Ban on Food Additives Danger 2023 2024

California Ban ,In a significant move toward safer and healthier food products, California has recently implemented two crucial laws that ban the use of certain additives in edibles. The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act and the California Food Safety Act, also known as AB 418, aim to protect consumers from potentially harmful substances present in cosmetics and food products. This article provides a detailed overview of these laws, their implications, and the reasons behind their enactment.

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California Ban
California Ban

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act California Ban


On January 1st, 2023, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act came into effect in California, banning the sale of cosmetic products containing intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These substances, used in some candy coatings, were known for their non-stick properties but have been linked to adverse health effects such as decreased fertility, high cholesterol, and cancer.

Mars Wrigley’s Response

Mars Wrigley, the company behind popular candies like Skittles and Starburst, faced a challenge complying with this law due to their inability to remove all PFAS from their candy coatings by the January deadline. As a result, Skittles and Starburst candies are temporarily unavailable for purchase in California stores. Other candy manufacturers that use PFAS in their coatings, such as SweeTarts and Dots, may also face removal from California shelves.

The Regulatory Aim

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act aims to protect consumers by eliminating “forever chemicals” from products. While this law may result in temporary shortages of popular candies in California, both manufacturers and the state are working on finding solutions to ensure compliance.

The California Food Safety Act (AB 418)

Enactment and Provisions

Governor Newsom signed AB 418 into law on October 7th, 2023, making California the first state to enact such a ban. This law prohibits the “manufacturing, selling, delivering, distributing, holding, or offering for sale” of food products containing four additives: red dye 3, propylparaben, brominated vegetable oil, and potassium bromate. These additives are found in approximately 12,000 candies, cereals, and sodas sold in California.

Exclusion of Titanium Dioxide

Contrary to previous concerns, the law does not include titanium dioxide, which means it does not affect Skittles. However, it does impact products like Peeps marshmallow candies.

Environmental and Health Concerns

Environmental groups argue that the additives banned by AB 418 have not undergone thorough safety reviews by the FDA and have been linked to health issues, including cancer and reproductive/developmental toxicity.

Implications and Timeline California Ban

The law gives manufacturers until January 1st, 2027, to reformulate their recipes without using the banned additives. This timeframe allows companies to find safer alternatives and validate them. The removal of these additives can affect factors such as color, texture, and shelf life.

Cost and Innovation

For large companies, reformulating recipes to remove questionable ingredients can be costly, with potential price increases for consumers. However, supporters argue that these additives are nonessential, and companies have the opportunity to innovate and find affordable, safer alternatives.

What are the health risks of PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in various industrial and consumer products for their water- and grease-resistant properties. These substances have raised concerns due to their persistence in the environment and potential health risks associated with exposure to them. Some of the health risks of PFAS include:

  1. Cancer: Studies have linked exposure to certain PFAS compounds, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), to an increased risk of cancer, particularly kidney and testicular cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified PFOA as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
  2. Reproductive and Developmental Issues: Exposure to PFAS has been associated with adverse effects on reproduction and development. Some studies suggest that high levels of PFAS exposure may lead to reduced fertility, low birth weight, and developmental delays in children.
  3. Liver Damage: Prolonged exposure to PFAS can cause liver damage and liver dysfunction. Elevated levels of certain PFAS compounds have been linked to liver problems, including changes in liver enzyme levels and liver disease.
  4. Immune System Effects: PFAS exposure may weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and diseases.
  5. Thyroid Issues: Some PFAS, such as perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), can interfere with thyroid hormone function. This can lead to various thyroid-related health problems, including disruptions in metabolism and hormone regulation.
  6. High Cholesterol Levels: Certain PFAS compounds have been associated with elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
  7. Neurological Effects: There is emerging evidence that suggests a potential link between PFAS exposure and adverse neurological effects, including cognitive impairments and developmental issues in children.
  8. Other Health Effects: PFAS exposure has also been associated with other health issues, such as decreased bone density and changes in hormone levels.

It’s important to note that the health risks of PFAS can vary depending on the specific type of PFAS compound, the level and duration of exposure, and individual susceptibility. Regulations and guidelines regarding PFAS exposure are evolving as more research is conducted to better understand their health effects. Reducing exposure to PFAS, such as through regulations like the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act mentioned in a previous conversation, is a key step in mitigating these health risks. If you have concerns about PFAS exposure, it’s advisable to consult with healthcare professionals and stay informed about the latest developments in this field.


California’s recent bans on harmful additives in cosmetics and food products mark a significant step towards protecting public health and ensuring the safety of consumer goods. While these bans may present short-term challenges for manufacturers and consumers, the long-term benefits of safer and healthier products cannot be overstated. Both the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act and AB 418 reflect a commitment to safeguarding consumers and fostering innovation in the food and cosmetic industries.

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