Connect with us

California Could Ban Skittles, Campbell’s Soup, Hostess Donuts And More

Anastasia Boushee
Like Freedom Press? Get news that you don't want to miss delivered directly to your inbox

A California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would ban chemical additives that are used in many popular products, including Skittles, jellybeans, Campbell’s soup and even some bread brands.

California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D), the chair of the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection, sent out a press release about his new legislation, Assembly Bill 418.


“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,” the press release stated.

Gabriel went on to note that the legislation would “correct for a concerning lack of federal oversight” of these harmful additives, and argued that the bill would “help protect our kids, public health, and the safety of our food supply.”

If the bill were signed into law, many beloved products would become illegal to manufacture or sell in California. These products include Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, jellybeans, Pez, Trident sugar-free gum, Campbell’s soup, Hostess desserts, Old El Paso queso sauce, certain bread brands and much more.

The legislation would prohibit “manufacturing, selling, delivering, distributing, holding, or offering for sale” food containing any of five substances: brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propyl paraben, red dye 3 and titanium dioxide.

While many European countries have already banned these harmful additives, California’s bill would make the state the first in the United States to do so.


The European Union has banned the use of these chemicals in food products over health concerns — including an increased cancer risk, reproductive harm, damage to the immune system and behavioral issues for children.

Gabriel also noted that the processed foods and candies that contain these substances are “marketed to children, low-income consumers, and communities of color.”

Susan Little, the Environmental Working Group’s Governmental Affairs Senior Advocate for California, has also spoken out about the companies that are selling food containing these harmful additives.

“Why are these toxic chemicals in our food?” she asked.

“We know they are harmful and that children are likely eating more of these chemicals than adults. It makes no sense that the same products food manufacturers sell in California are sold in the EU but without these toxic chemicals. We thank Assemblymember Gabriel’s efforts to remove these toxic additives from California’s food supply,” Little added.

Of course, these food manufacturers have already come out against the bill — with groups such as the National Confectioners Association, California Grocers Association and the American Chemistry Council arguing that the legislation is premature and claiming that the targeted substances are safe.

“All five of these additives have been thoroughly reviewed by the federal and state systems and many international scientific bodies and continue to be deemed safe,” the groups said in a letter.

According to the National Confectioners Association, the confectionery industry creates $7.7 billion of economic impact in California and provides over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.

“We create good-paying jobs manufacturing chocolate, candy, gum and mints and support thousands of additional American jobs through the sourcing of our raw materials and distribution and sale of finished products,” the organization says.

Meanwhile, people have long been speaking out about the dangers of brominated vegetable oil and the other ingredients that Europe banned and the U.S. still allows — pointing out that many people have experienced the health effects caused by traveling between the two continents and eating the same foods with different ingredients.