A bill banning harmful chemicals in food advances in the California Senate

On June 28, A.J California Senate Committee on Health He passed the first bill in the nation to ban five harmful chemicals from candy, cereal, and other processed foods.

Assembly Bill 418, which has already passed the California House of Representatives, is nearing a vote in the Senate that will put it on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk to be signed into law.

Here’s what AB 418 does, according to the staff’s latest analysis of the bill:

  1. 1) Effective January 1, 2025, an entity is prohibited from manufacturing, selling, delivering, distributing, possessing, or offering for sale a food product for human consumption that contains any of the following:

a) brominated vegetable oil;

b) Potassium bromate.

c) propylparaben;

d) red dye 3; or,

e) titanium dioxide.

3) The provisions of this Act are prohibited from impairing or hindering any rights, causes of action, claims or other defenses available under any other law, and it specifies that the remedies provided in this Act are cumulative with any other remedies available under any other law.

Therefore, B 418 will terminate the use of Rolled vegetable oilAnd potassium bromateAnd PropylparabenAnd red dye number 3, And titanium dioxide in food products sold in california.

Supporters of the bill say these chemicals are linked to serious health problems, such as a higher risk of cancer, damage to the nervous system, and hyperactivity.

The European Union has already banned the use of these five substances in food, with the limited exception of red No. 3 in candied cherries. Given the size of California’s economy, AB 418 would set an important precedent for improving the safety of many processed foods.

2) Requires that an entity that violates 1) above be liable, in action brought by the attorney general, city attorney, county counsel, or district attorney, to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for the first violation, and up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, D-Woodland Hills, AB 418 is following in Europe’s footsteps and saying protecting American consumers is the right move, despite troubling claims from opponents of the bill that it would end the sale of candy and other popular items in the state. .

“Today’s strong vote is a huge step forward in our efforts to protect children and families in California from dangerous and toxic chemicals in our food supply,” said Gabriel, chair of the association’s committee on privacy and consumer protection.

“It is unacceptable that the United States is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to banning these dangerous additives,” he added.

“We love our children no less than we love them in Europe, and it is not too much of a stretch to ask food and beverage manufacturers to switch to the safer alternative ingredients they are already using in Europe and many other countries around the world,” Gabriel said.

More than 10,000 chemicals are allowed in nearly all foods sold in the United States 99 percent Of those introduced since 2000 they are approved by the food and chemical industries, not the Food and Drug Administration, the agency charged with ensuring the safety of our food supply.

Two national NGOs support AB 418: The Environmental Working Group And Consumer Reports.

The Senate Environmental Quality Committee will then hear and vote on the bill, and after that, the vote is supposed to take place on the Senate floor.

“The last time the FDA evaluated some of these chemicals was nearly 50 years ago,” he said. Brian Ronholm, Director of Food Policy at Consumer Reports. “A number of peer-reviewed studies have linked these food chemicals to serious health risks since that time, but the FDA is not required to re-examine them once they are allowed on the market.”

That’s why it’s so important that states like California take action. If this measure is enacted, it will likely prompt food manufacturers to stop putting these toxic chemicals in products sold in the rest of the country – which means safer food for everyone.

Most chemicals added to foods and their packaging to improve flavor or appearance, or to maintain freshness, are likely safe to eat. But the five food chemicals covered by AB 418 have been linked to a number of serious health concerns. The European Union banned them in 2008, after a comprehensive reassessment of the safety of all food additives.

“What do these toxic chemicals do to our food?” He said Susan Littlethe EWG’s chief advocate for California government affairs.

We know that they are harmful and that children are much more likely to be exposed than adults. “It just doesn’t make sense that the same products that California food manufacturers sell in the EU but without these toxic chemicals,” Little said.

“Our children need protection, too,” she added. “These harmful additives have no place in California’s food supply.”

children have lower tolerance levels Many adults are susceptible to exposure to chemicals, and their developing bodies make them especially vulnerable.

Consumers consistently rank food chemical concerns ahead of other food safety issues. But additives are not adequately regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, in large part because of a lack of financial support from Congress for food chemical reviews.

He said, “For decades, the Food and Drug Administration has failed to protect us from toxic food chemicals.” Scott FaberSenior Vice President, Governmental Affairs, EWG.

Chemical companies continue to exploit a loophole that allows food additives that have not been sufficiently reviewed for safety by the Food and Drug Administration. And the FDA consistently fails to re-evaluate the chemicals, even in light of the new Sciences. food and confectioners Industries knows the review process at the FDA is broken.”

“In the absence of federal leadership, it is up to states like California to keep us safe from dangerous chemicals in the candy, cookies, and other foods our families enjoy,” said Faber.

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