California Bill Looks to Ban 5 ‘Toxic’ Food Additives Already Banned in Europe

California Bill Looks to Ban 5 ‘Toxic’ Food Additives Already Banned in Europe

California legislators are advancing a bill that seeks to prohibit five food additives that are already banned in the European Union, in an effort to curb the use of what some consider “toxic” chemicals in food products.

The proposed legislation, AB 479, would prohibit the use of five chemicals, namely potassium bromate and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), and the colorants Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, in food products in the state of California.

The bill, which is sponsored by Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco, is supported by a number of consumer advocacy groups and public health organizations, such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who argue that the additives are potentially carcinogenic, and thus should not be used in food products.

However, the bill’s opponents, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, argue that the additives are safe, and that the bill would bring about an undue burden on the food industry, which would be forced to reformulate their products in compliance with the new regulation.

The five additives in question are already prohibited in Europe, and have been linked to health problems in animal studies. Potassium bromate, for example, has been found to cause cancer in rats and mice, while 4-MEI has been linked to liver and thyroid tumors in animal studies.

The California bill, if passed, would make the state the first in the nation to ban these five additives, although a number of other states are considering similar legislation.

As the debate over the bill continues, California consumers are advised to keep an eye out for these potentially hazardous additives in their food products. In the meantime, the bill is expected to be discussed in the state Assembly in the coming weeks.