In October California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the California Food Safety Act, which bans the use of select food additives. The new Act bans the use of red dye No. 3, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate and propylparaben in foods beginning in 2027. A previous version of the bill also included titanium dioxide, the colorant which helps give Skittles and other candies their bright colors, leading some to refer to the safety act as the “Skittles ban.” Titanium dioxide was removed from the banned additives list before the bill was approved by the California legislature.
The additives banned may be linked to various cancers and neurological disorders. The ban impacts many common products including certain candies, snack cakes, packaged breads and baked goods. Currently, the banned additives are either restricted or not permitted in multiple countries including Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan. The 2027 implementation is designed to allow food companies time to reformulate and remove these additives from their products.
Several food industry associations have responded with criticism. A representative of the National Confectioners Association stated in a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the California Food Safety Act, “undermines consumer trust and creates confusion around food safety.” Others have called for the FDA to defend its legal and moral responsibility as the United States’ centralized food safety agency. It is expected that the California Food Safety Act will lead to similar proposals in other states and possibly create a patchwork of state level food safety legislation.
Julie Holt, Director, Global Advisory Services
Julie Holt is a subject matter expert in the areas of food and beverage, additives, and regulatory strategy. She has beverage industry expertise and currently provides consulting support across multiple beverage categories. Ms. Holt has more than 25+ years of regulatory experience in the food and food ingredients industries and managed her own advisory firm, Scientific & Regulatory Solutions LLC, prior to joining FoodChain ID. As a consultant, Julie supported several food and beverage clients including a Fortune 50 company. Julie has provided global regulatory knowledge covering more than 200 countries. Her consulting efforts have supported global regulatory needs, R&D projects, sustainability goals, and innovation initiatives. Julie holds a Bachelor of Science in biology (emphasis in cellular / molecular biology) and organic chemistry and a master’s certificate in international food law from Michigan State University. She has also completed 30 hours of graduate studies in comparative biology and genetics and continues graduate studies, currently in pharmacology and clinical chemistry courses.