SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The California state Assembly has approved a bill that would ban certain ingredients found in popular candies such as Skittles and Nerds, as well as other processed foods.
Assembly Bill 418, proposed by Rep. Jesse Gabriel from Woodland Hills, now moves on to the state Senate for consideration.
While the European Union has already banned the five chemicals listed in the bill, California would become the first U.S. state to take that step.
The bill would ban processed foods with the chemicals red dye no. 3, titanium dioxide, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and propyl paraben.
"Today's strong vote is a major step forward in our effort to protect children and families in California from dangerous and toxic chemicals in our food supply," Gabriel said. "It's unacceptable that the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to banning these dangerous additives."
Bill would ban key ingredients in Skittles, other processed foods and candies
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Studies have linked those chemicals health dangers that include an increased risk of cancer, behavioral issues in children, harm to the reproductive system and damage to the immune system.
The chemicals are often put in processed foods to make them last longer, taste better and look more enticing.
Gabriel says many food and drink manufacturers have already stopped using those chemicals, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Gatorade.
If passed, the bill would force manufacturers to modify the ingredients in their products sold in California.