On the heels of a landmark law that bans the manufacture, distribution, and sale of foods containing certain additives in California, legislation in Illinois is looking to ban five food chemical additives.
SB 2637, known as the Illinois Food Safety Act, was introduced by Sen. Willie Preston (D), and looks to ban brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, Propylparaben, titanium dioxide, and red dye number 3, which are chemicals often used in candy, soda, and other food items. Some research links these additives to serious health problems, including behavioral and reproductive issues and an increased risk of cancer.
Sen. Preston said in a press release that the legislation is not designed to take away people’s favorite foods, but to set a strong precedent for consumer health and safety to encourage food manufacturers to update their recipes to use safer alternative ingredients.
The legislation closely mirrors the California law, including enacting fines of $5,000 for a first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent violation for the manufacture, sale, delivery, or distribution of any foods containing these substances.
Titanium dioxide, commonly found in certain candy like Skittles, was not part of the California legislation, though it was originally in the bill and taken out before the bill was passed; however, it’s among the five additives banded by the European Union.
The National Confectioner’s Association does not feel that a law like this is necessary, believing that FDA should remain responsible for evaluating the safety of food ingredients and additives. “This bill would replace a uniform national food safety system with a patchwork of inconsistent state requirements created by legislative fiat that will increase food costs, undermine consumer confidence, and create confusion around food safety,” the association said in a prepared statement.
The Illinois legislation, if enacted, would take effect January 1, 2027, the same day as the California ban.