California May Ban Certain Food Ingredients

The California Food Safety Act is en route to the governor’s desk.

September 14, 2023

The California Food Safety Act was passed by the State Assembly on May 15 and this week was approved by the State Senate. The legislature will soon reach the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom to be passed into law, reports ABC News.

The Assembly bill, AB 418, was introduced in February by Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel, D-46th district, and bans the food additives brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye No. 3 from food and drinks. The Senate removed a fifth ingredient, titanium dioxide, from the list.

According to Gabriel, these four chemicals are outlawed in 27 European Union nations, reports ABC News.

If signed into law by Gov. Newsom, this bill will mark the first time a state has banned food additives permitted by the Food and Drug Administration, according to NBC News. Additionally, following California’s legislation, New York Senator Brian Kavanagh, D-27th district, proposed a similar bill. Bill A6424 is currently pending in the New York State Agriculture Committee.

Under the bill, it will be illegal in California to manufacture, sell, deliver, distribute, hold or offer for sale any food product for human consumption that contains any of the four ingredients after January 1, 2027.

Banning these ingredients will likely have a national impact, as many food manufacturers will change their recipes for foods distributed nationwide in order to eliminate the ingredients banned by the new law in California.

Last year California introduced a fast-food wage law, which is currently on hold until the 2024 ballot after a group of franchisees and restaurant business associations, called Save Local Restaurants, filed a petition.