California Implements Strict Regulations on Food Additives

On March 12, 2024, Jesse Gabriel, a member of the California Assembly, conducted a press conference to declare the progress of proposed regulations that would restrict schools from providing food items containing seven color additives.

The additives include Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, and Titanium dioxide.  The bill (AB2316), initially introduced on February 12th, is undergoing amendments quickly. It is expected to go to the State Assembly Education Committee soon.

If enacted into law, the bill will require the reformulation of various food products such as Frosted Flakes, Eggo Waffles, Rice Krispies Treats, Cheez-its, and other breakfast cereals, cookies, and snack foods. The school markets hold great importance, with California Public Schools providing almost three million free lunches and 1.5 million free breakfasts each school day.

Gabriel, in his capacity as a legislator, a parent, and a person who has personally been diagnosed with ADHD, expressed his disapproval of the fact that schools are providing food containing harmful additives to children. He highlights that the evidence supporting this claim is absolute, referencing an independent research study conducted at the requirement of the California government. The conclusive finding of the report issued by the California Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment highlighted that synthetic food dyes have the potential to affect the neurobehavior of certain children.


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Gabriel highlighted the investment of time and resources in assisting children facing difficulties. He highlights that it is worthless to provide support and therapy in the morning only to prevent it by exposing them to harmful chemicals during lunch, which ultimately adds to their struggles.

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In 2023, Gabriel led the effective campaign to ban specific chemicals in food products distributed in California: vegetable oil, potassium bromate, Propylparaben, and Red 3. Titanium dioxide was initially included in the list but was excluded at the eleventh hour due to independent approval.

Gabriel further stated that upon the implementation of AB418, also known as the California Food Safety Act, concerned parents from various regions of the United States, including the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest, reached out to us to take action against synthetic food dyes.

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