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California to ban the sale of Skittles

California has taken a step further in protecting public health by officially banning the sale of Skittles and other candies as of January 1, 2027.

California to ban the sale of Skittles

The decision followed the signing of AB 418, also known as the California Food Safety Act, by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The law targets food products that contain substances such as brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben or red dye 3. Red dye 3 is a hallmark of Skittles and other popular candies such as PEZ gum, Hot Tamales and Dubble Bubble. Brominated vegetable oil is commonly found in citrus soft drinks.

According to Legislative Counsel’s Digest, the California Food Safety Act states that “a person or entity shall not manufacture, sell, deliver, distribute, distribute, maintain, or offer for sale, in commerce, a food product for human consumption” containing the above substances. Failures to comply with these provisions will carry civil penalties that can amount to $5,000 for a first offense and up to $10,000 for each subsequent offense, as determined by the Attorney General, a city attorney, county attorney or district attorney.

The decision to ban Skittles has generated divided opinion. Governor Newsom’s office maintains that the ban is in line with European Union food safety regulations and demonstrates that the food industry can adapt to comply with different public health laws around the world.

However, the National Confectioners Association expressed concern, stating that the law is based on assumptions rather than sound scientific evidence. They argue that this action will undermine consumer confidence and create confusion around food safety, as well as increase food costs.

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