What food additives are banned in California?
New legislation has been introduced that would ban a number of ingredients that have been linked to risks of cancer and learning difficulties.
California is looking to ban five common chemicals for their use in food, including all goods sold, distributed or made in the state.
Under Assembly Bill 418, Red Dye No. 3, as well as titanium dioxide, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and propylparaben would be outlawed. Studies have shown the ingredients are linked to an increased risk of cancer as well as damage to the immune system.
“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,” said Democrat Assembly member Jesse Gabriel. “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.”
The Californian plans come after congressional plans are afoot to better police the use of chemicals in food and drink. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows more than 10,000 chemicals despite many being banned in other nations. New chemicals are often classed as “generally recognized as safe” and do not require a safety review.
“We look around the world and you see what the other countries are doing to protect their consumers, we are far behind,” Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky said about her bill. “We need to put the F back into the Food and Drug Administration.”
What are the dangers of these additives at present?
Red dye no. 3 is in more than 2,000 food products, especially in candy. Many of its uses were banned in 1990 and the European Union (EU) only allows its use in candied and cocktail cherries.
Brominated vegetable oil is banned in the EU for use in processed food.
Potassium bromate has been linked to cancer though it has not been reviewed by the FDA since 1973. Banned in the EU since 1990.
Propyl paraben has never been thoroughly reviewed by the FDA and has been banned by the EU since 2006.
Titanium dioxide could damage immune systems and was banned by the EU last year.