California Becomes First State to Ban Four Additives in Food

Law will not eliminate the foods these additives go in, but the manufacturers will need to make 'really minor' changes to ingredients
food dyes
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WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- California has become the first state to ban four chemicals commonly added to food that are linked to health issues. Although the law, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, only bans the additives in his state, it is possible the chemicals could be removed from products across the country, NBC News reported.

The chemicals are red dye No. 3, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, and propylparaben. All four are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but they are illegal in the European Union and some other parts of the world, NBC News reported.

Assembly member Jesse Gabriel introduced the bill with Assembly member Buffy Wicks. Gabriel said that the law will not eliminate the foods these additives typically go in -- ranging from orange soda to hamburger rolls and candies -- but the manufacturers will need to make "really minor" changes to ingredients.

The law will go into effect in 2027, NBC News reported. This gives brands time to revise recipes and "establishes national updated safety levels for these additives" until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration makes changes, Newsom said.

Red dye is used to color foods. Potassium bromate is added to flour to help bread rise higher. Brominated vegetable oil is an emulsifier used in citrus drinks. Propylparaben is a preservative. Among them, the products have been associated with behavioral problems in children, cancer in lab animals, reproductive issues in animals, and endocrine disruption, NBC News reported.

The National Confectioners Association, a trade association for candy makers, spoke out against the bill. "Governor Newsom's approval of this bill will undermine consumer confidence and create confusion around food safety," the group said in a statement. "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."

NBC News Article

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