Ring Pops are about to bring more bling for residents of California, which recently passed the California Food Safety Act to ban the use of four types of harmful chemicals in foods.
NPR reported in October that the chemicals in question are red dye 3, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, and propylparaben, all of which have been linked to various health issues, including cancer, reproductive concerns, and neurobehavioral problems in children.
The food safety act understandably caused fear that consumers wouldn’t be able to enjoy their favorite treats, but California Governor Gavin Newsom assured NPR that wouldn’t be the case.
“Californians will still be able to access and enjoy their favorite food products,” Newsom said, noting that companies will simply have to make small adjustments to their recipes by 2027.
Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat who sponsored the act, added that this is easy to implement, as the European Union has already done so after banning those additives because of safety concerns.
Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have also outlawed the harmful chemicals.
“It’s unacceptable that the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to food safety,” Gabriel added.
As NPR detailed, the Food and Drug Administration made it illegal to use Red 3 in cosmetics back in 1990 after it found the chemical caused cancer in lab animals.
Surprisingly, even as awareness regarding the dangers of certain chemicals seems to be growing in our country, the red dye is still permissible in food, including in some of America’s favorite Halloween treats.
“Halloween has never been the healthiest holiday, but few parents would believe that the FDA permits the use of a dye it acknowledges as a carcinogen to be used as a common ingredient in candy,” Center for Science in the Public Interest consultant Lisa Y. Lefferts said in a press release for the nonprofit.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently published a list of common Halloween candy that contains Red 3, including Ring Pops, Hot Tamales, and Brach’s candy corn. CSPI said Skittles already do not contain Red 3, though they had been associated with this ban because the bill nearly also included a ban on titanium dioxide, which is often used to create white coloring or smooth texture in candy and other foods.
California is the first state in the United States to ban these chemicals, but it appears others may soon follow. A bill under consideration in New York intends to outlaw the same additives, as well as titanium dioxide, which has also been linked to cancer.
Many Redditors lauded California’s health-friendly measure and were surprised that eliminating the harmful chemicals in our food wasn’t a wider priority.
“It dumbfounds me as to why this isn’t already a national thing,” one person wrote.
“Absolutely a massive win, I hope more states follow,” another said.
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