California Governor Signs Bill Banning Skittles (and Other Popular Candy)

Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB 418, a bill effectively banning Skittles and other popular candy from sale within the State of California. The additives impacted with the signing of the bill include brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, proplyparaben, and red dye 3. Now that the bill has become law, products with any of the aforementioned additives are unable to be manufactured, sold, delivered, distributed, held, or offered for sale within the state of California beginning January 1, 2027.

In a statement shared by Newsom’s office after the bill signing, the governor points out Skittles and other candies have been able to alter the recipes for their products in international markets, removing the banned substances.

“There have been many misconceptions about this bill and its impacts. For example, attached to this message is a bag of the popular candy Skittles, which became the face of this proposal,” Newsom’s statement reads. “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.”

The National Confectioners Association itself has issued a statement railing against Newsom’s signing, saying the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the now-banned ingredients for use elsewhere.

“They’re making decisions based on soundbites rather than science. Governor Newsom’s approval of this bill will undermine consumer confidence and create confusion around food safety,” the NCA’s statement says. “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.”

In addition to Skittles, Red Dye No. 3 is also currently found in PEZ, Hot Tamales, and Dubble Bubble gum. Brominated vegetable oil is typically found in citrus soft drinks. None of the company’s the produce the above candies have offered a statement on the new law.