Candy companies fume as campaigners push statewide ingredient ban over cancer concerns

A closeup of a bowl of Skittles

A closeup of a bowl of Skittles

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 15/11/2023

- 22:42

Updated: 16/11/2023

- 07:48

A Republican in Pennsylvania have put forward a ban on dangerous food additives

Candy companies have been left fuming after a campaign was launched to introduce a statewide ingredient ban over cancer concerns.

Pennsylvania State Representative Natalie Mihalek has unveiled plans to propose a bill to outlaw four food additives in products sold in the Keystone State early next year.

Lawmakers are seeking to prohibit brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye number three.

The additives have been linked to cancer, chronic diseases and heart problems.

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California has already outlawed four food additives under its so-called Skittles ban.

New York is considering introducing similar legislation.

Manufacturers who use the ingredients have argued the plans “undermine” consumer confidence and “create confusion” around food safety.

America’s Food & Drug Administration (FDA) was accused of “dropping the ball” on the issue as the European Union outlawed the additives decades ago.

Skittles candies are seen in the shop in Milan, Italy

Skittles candies are seen in the shop in Milan, Italy


Mihalek told The Daily Mail: “This is a very organic piece of legislation.

“I have three children and I am a working mom — so we try to be aware of what our children are putting in their bodies.

“But there is a whole body of research out there on these bad additives that we are putting into our bodies.

“There are also increasing diagnoses of hyperactivity, ADHD and problems with hormones.”

Pennsylvania Representative Natalie Mihalek

Pennsylvania Representative Natalie Mihalek


She also claimed opposition in Pennsylvania was already fighting the ban by arguing it should be decided at a federal level.

The US previously banned red number three from cosmetic products in the 1990s.

However, it remains allowed to be used in many food products sold in America.

Another pair of studies in 2016 found the dye was in more than one-in-10 candies in the US and more than 80 per cent of children under two years old had consumed it in the past two weeks.

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