California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, recently signed a pioneering law to ban harmful additives, like red dye No. 3 in consumer products. California is the first state in the U.S. to take this step. The law, named the California Food Safety Act or Assembly Bill 418, was supported by groups like the Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports. It prevents the making, selling, or distribution of food items in California containing certain substances. These include potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, propylparaben, and red dye No. 3. These substances serve different purposes, like enhancing the texture of dough in baked goods or preserving food.

Around 3,000 products, including popular treats like Skittles, Nerds, Trolli gummies, as well as protein shakes, instant rice, and boxed cake mixes, contain red dye No. 3. Governor Newsom pointed out that Skittles are available in the European Union without this additive, showing that the food industry can adapt to meet public health standards. This move aligns the U.S. more closely with EU rules, which have banned these chemicals due to their proven health risks. These risks include a higher chance of cancer, behavioral problems in children, harm to the reproductive system, and damage to the immune system. The law will be put into action in 2027, giving companies enough time to adjust their recipes and ensuring Californians can still enjoy their favorite foods with confidence.