Regarding a substance used to make the confectionery Skittles’ rainbow-colored hues, Mars, Inc. is being sued. Titanium dioxide, a coloring ingredient, is prohibited in Europe but is permitted by the FDA in small doses. According to certain data, titanium dioxide may increase the risk of cancer or damage DNA. Morning Brew is read by more than 3 million people; you should too! A California man is suing the manufacturer of Skittles for using an additive in the candy that is legal under US law, but banned in Europe because it may increase the risk of cancer.
The candy is “unfit for human consumption,” according to the lawsuit, because it contains titanium dioxide, a coloring ingredient.
The complaint, which was submitted on July 14 to California’s Northern District Court, states that “no reasonable consumer would expect that the products marketed as safe for human consumption would pose a risk to their health, safety, and well-being, or that it would contain “titanium dioxide,” which is linked to harmful health effects in humans.
FDA regulations permits titanium dioxide as long as it accounts for less than 1% of the weight of a meal. It is utilized in the manufacturing of paint, plastic, paper, chewing gum, pastries, chocolates, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
However, as of May 2021, the European Food Safety Authority has decided that the substance is no longer acceptable to use as a food additive due to worries about genotoxicity, or the potential to harm DNA.
According to animal studies , there is some evidence that titanium dioxide, particularly in the form of inhalable, ultra-fine particles, may accumulate in cells over time and raise the risk of cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies the substance as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
However, some research claim that the majority of food products contain less titanium dioxide than is necessary to be dangerous.
The company that makes Skittles, Mars, Inc., announced in an 2016 statement that it will gradually stop using titanium dioxide and other artificial colors. (As of the time of publication, titanium dioxide is still listed as a component in Skittles.)
“Studies have demonstrated that the human health risks associated with consuming nanoparticles of many popular food additives much outweigh any usefulness for producers,” says Jaydee Hanson, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, who pushed Mars, Inc. to use non-toxic substitutes.
The complaint asserts that the business failed to appropriately warn customers about the potential risks associated with titanium dioxide and that the absence of color contrast on the packaging makes it difficult to understand the ingredients list. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff, Jenile Thames, said he would not have bought the Skittles if he had known they included titanium dioxide.
Furthermore, according to the complaint, candy that is brilliantly colored need not contain titanium dioxide because similar goods like Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, and Black Forest Gummy Bears don’t.
Insider’s request for comment from Mars, Inc. did not immediately receive a response.
The business responded in a statement to the Washington Post that “although we do not comment on current litigation, our use of titanium dioxide complies with FDA rules.”