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Candy Crush: A New California Bill Will Ban Skittles, PEZ and More

Candy Crush: A New California Bill Will Ban Skittles, PEZ and More

Yesterday California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that will ban Skittles and a handful of other popular candies on January 1, 2027.

Bill AB 418, also known as the “The California Food Safety Act,” aims to ensure food safety and eliminate potentially harmful additives such as brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye 3. These additives are often found in candies like Skittles (one of the Golden State’s most popular choices), PEZ and Hot Tamales, and citrusy soft drinks.

“The California Food Safety Act specifies that ‘a person or entity shall not manufacture, sell, deliver, distribute, hold, or offer for sale, in commerce a food product for human consumption’ containing these substances,” the bill sternly states.

Companies who violate the bill can face penalties of up to $5,000 for a first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent offense.

Since signing the bill, Newsom’s office has clarified a few misunderstandings surrounding the rules.

“For example,” the statement reads, “attached to this message is a bag of the popular candy Skittles, which became the face of this proposal. This particular bag of candy comes from the European Union—a place that already bans a number of chemical additives and colorants. This is demonstrable proof that the food industry is capable of maintaining product lines while complying with different public health laws, country-to-country.”

However, many companies and organizations are already pushing back.

“They’re making decisions based on soundbites rather than science,” wrote The National Confectioners Association in a statement. “Governor Newsom’s approval of this bill will undermine consumer confidence and create confusion around food safety.

“This law replaces a uniform national food safety system with a patchwork of inconsistent state requirements created by legislative fiat that will increase food costs. This is a slippery slope that the FDA could prevent by engaging on this important topic. We should be relying on the scientific rigor of the FDA in terms of evaluating the safety of food ingredients and additives.”

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