Toxicologist explains 5 food chemicals that California may ban

Learn more about the research on all five additives.

California passed a first-in-the-nation landmark bill that would ban some additives from certain packaged food ingredient lists.

On Monday, the California Assembly approved bill A.B. 418 by a vote of 54-11 to ban five harmful chemicals from candy, cereals and other processed food.

Last month, the health committee approved the piece of legislation, AB 418, which prohibits brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, Red dye No. 3 and titanium dioxide in food products sold throughout the state.

The bill will next be heard and voted on by the California Senate. If enacted, California would be the first state to impose such a prohibition.

With the narrow exception of Red No. 3 used in candied cherries, regulators in Europe previously banned the other four substances outright. In the U.S., such a move would set a precedent for processed food safety going forward.

“Today’s strong vote is a major step forward in our effort to protect children and families in California from dangerous and toxic chemicals in our food supply,” Democratic Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, the legislation’s sponsor, said in a statement.

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