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Are Skittles banned in California?

A closeup of a bowl of Skittles.

Will Skittles no longer be sold in California?

That’s the question that’s on Californians’ minds after a bill was recently passed in the state that aims to change some of the ingredients found in America’s most popular candies and snacks.

These four ingredients are brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye No. 3.

Since titanium dioxide, an ingredient in Skittles, was originally included in the bill, many people believed that the candy would be banned in California.

But, as it turns out, titanium dioxide was dropped from the ban, making Skittles exempt from the changes. And since Skittles don’t have any of the other four ingredients listed above in them, it’s safe to say the candy will be safe from any major changes — for now.

In fact, when Jesse Gabriel, a Democratic assembly member from Woodland Hills, California, introduced legislation, called Assembly Bill (AB) 418, that would ban the sale of processed foods in California containing certain chemicals he claimed were dangerous and toxic, it quickly became known as the “Skittles ban,” which has now become a misnomer.

In response to AB418, reached out to Mars, the makers of Skittles, who referred us to the National Confectioners Association, as the McLean, Virginia candy conglomerate is one of the associations’ biggest member companies. In a statement, the Association told that it “strongly” opposes AB418.

“Chocolate and candy are safe to enjoy, as they have been for centuries. We strongly oppose AB418 because there is no evidence to support banning the ingredients listed in the bill,” the statement reads.

“The ingredients that would be banned under this proposal have all been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Food safety is the number one priority for U.S. confectionery companies, and we do not use any ingredients in our products that do not comply with the FDA’s strictest safety standards,” it continues.

As for Gabriel, he tells he doesn’t want to ban Skittles, he just wants to make American treats less “dangerous” to eat.

“The idea here is for these companies to make minor modifications to their recipes so that these products don’t include dangerous and toxic chemicals,” he said. “Skittles and many other brands have already made changes to their recipes in the European Union, the UK, and other nations where these chemicals are banned. We simply want them to do the same thing in the United States.”

Skittles may be off the hook for now, but there are still up to 12,000 products — like Peeps, which contains red dye No. 3 — that could be impacted by AB418.

But just because an ingredient gets banned doesn’t mean an entire product will be, too. The bill won’t go into effect until 2027, which gives brands time to change their recipe rather than decide not to sell their product in an entire state.

Joyann Jeffrey, TODAY

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