The two non-governmental organizations, with a joint project to trim the number of food additives in candy, soda, and other food items, are moving into a second year in a second state.

The two nationally-known consumer and environmental organizations, Consumer Reports (CR) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), in 2023 guided Assembly Bill 418 to become law in California.

The California project successfully banned bacterial vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, titanium dioxide, and red dye No. 3 from food. 

It failed to put titanium dioxide on the banned list because it did not fly in the California Senate. Banning all five food additives, however, remains the project goal as the activists move across the country to the Illinois Legislature

In Springfield, IL, State Senator Willie Preston, D-Chicago, has introduced  Senate Bill 2637 to ban the five ingredients.

“This legislation, in its simplest form, increases food safety for Illinoisans,” said Preston. “These substances have been used in food for decades, and new evidence shows they can pose serious threats to our health and the health of our kids.”

SB 2637 – the Illinois Food Safety Act – will ban specific, dangerous food additives from manufacturing, delivering, distributing, holding, or selling food products. 

These banned additives include brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, Propylparaben, and red dye no. 3.

“Illinois families deserve access to the healthiest food options,” Preston said. “This legislation does not seek to ban products or take away our favorite foods. This measure sets a precedent for consumer health and safety to encourage food manufacturers to update their recipes to use safer alternative ingredients.”

Preston intends to work alongside his colleagues this legislative season to include additional additives like titanium dioxide. Additionally, his proposed legislation will call for studies on the potential health risks of BHA and BHT.

If Illinois joins California, other areas of the U.S. might have difficulty operating around the bans.

Titanium dioxide, which escaped the banned list in California, is often added to foods to enhance white coloring or opacity.  Chewing gum, candy, pastries, chocolates, coffee creamers, and cake decorations are among food items that may contain titanium.

The FDA continues to view titanium dioxide as safe, as does the California Senate.

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