When consumer and environmental groups went to California to ban certain ingredients from food, they hoped to get the FDA’s support for national action.

But food manufacturers are also looking for support from the FDA and have issued something of a challenge to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf,

It came in the form of a letter to the commissioner from John H. Downs Jr., President and CEO of the Washington D.C.-based National Confectioners Association (NCA)

Downs wrote Califf “to request that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defend its legal, fiduciary and moral responsibility as our nation’s chief and centralized food

Continue Reading FDA courted by both sides over California’s ingredient ban

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the California Food Safety Act, the first law in the U.S. to ban four harmful chemicals from candy, cereal, soda, and other processed food sold and produced in the state.

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) authored the law, which ends the food uses of brominated vegetable oilpotassium bromatepropylparaben and Red Dye No. 3

These chemicals are linked to human health issues, including hyperactivity, nervous system damage, and an increased cancer risk.

All four additives are already banned by European regulators, with the narrow exception of Red Dye No. 3 in

Continue Reading California becomes first state to ban four harmful chemicals in food

The California Food Safety Act, which passed the State Assembly on May 15 with a 54-to-12 vote, was also approved Monday by the State Senate with a 33 to 3 vote. The California Assembly today, or anytime after, can vote to concur with the Senate version, which differs from the original Assembly bill in one crucial aspect.

If the Assembly does concur, AB418 will be on the Governor’s desk, and many food manufacturers will change their recipes to eliminate ingredients banned by the new law in California, which in many cases will likely cease being used nationally.

Because of the

Continue Reading California Senate passes Assembly bill to ban certain food ingredients for safety concerns

As a near-year-round body, the California Legislature does things a little differently. Until the middle of September, it has adjourned most of its committees to put the Upper Chamber’s focus almost entirely on floor action.

That is good news for the California Food Safety Act, which is on the State Senate’s third reading calendar. Assembly Bill 418, introduced in February by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, D-San Fernando Valley,  seeks to ban harmful food additives already prohibited from use in the European Union. 

 The bad news is that the law bans certain substances as food ingredients and has to compete for

Continue Reading Just before the final vote, one item was removed from AB418’s list of substances banned in food

The California Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Tuesday approved a first-in-the-nation bill to ban five harmful chemicals from candy, cereals, and other processed food. That approval followed the Assembly’s Health Committee’s “do pass” recommendation earlier this month.

The bill, AB 418, sponsored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, would end the use of brominated vegetable oilpotassium bromatepropylparabenRed Dye No. 3 and titanium dioxide in popular food products sold in the state. Any food manufactured elsewhere but placed for sale in California will have to comply with the regulation.

The chemicals have been linked to

Continue Reading California Assembly toxics panel advances landmark ban on chemicals in processed food

The California Assembly Health Committee Tuesday was scheduled to consider  Assembly Bill 418, introduced in February by Assembly member Jesse Gabriel, D-San Fernando Valley, which seeks to ban five harmful food additives which are already prohibited from use in the European Union.

The bill was one of about 25 heard by the Committee but without a quorum present, meaning a “do pass” recommendation is pending.

If approved, the bill would ban Red Dye No. 3 and some other common additives found in hundreds of foods. And such a ban by California could impact other states.

Powerful consumer and

Continue Reading Food chemicals ban moves forward in California Assembly

What if California laid down some new deadlines for taking food safety measures the rest of the country has pretty much been ignoring? Would others begin to impose the same restrictions?

That’s a question raised by California Assembly Bill 418, introduced by Rep. Jesse Gabriel and Rep, Buffy Wicks. Gabriel and Wicks are both Democrats in California’s Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, 62-18. Democrats also dominate the Senate, 32-8.

Gabriel, D-Encino, and Wicks, D-Oakland haven’t yet gotten AB 418 heard by a committee in more than a month since it was introduced. But they’ve come up with another way

Continue Reading Bill to ban toxics in California looking to gain some traction