We all know that some of our most beloved foods aren’t good for us. But does that mean they should be banned? One California lawmaker certainly thinks so and has even proposed a bill to do just that.
Introducing San Fernando Valley and California state Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel.
Like a growing number of parents and environmentalists, he is concerned that a good number of the foods found in most US homes are not only not good for our health but could actually be causing very real health problems.
And so, he’s proposing that certain foods containing certain and questionable chemicals should no longer be allowed – at least in his state.
The bill, known as Assembly Bill 418, introduced on February 2, specifically targets five “toxic chemicals” and, therefore, any foods these are contained in.
The five are Red Dye No.3, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, and titanium dioxide.
According to Gabriel and the bill’s co-sponsor, the Environmental Working Group, there is no reason these ‘toxins should be in our foods. As EWG’s senior advocate, Susan Little, explains, there is a reason why some countries, including the whole of Europe, or those included in the European Union, have already banned these chemicals for use in foods. And that means nations like the US should take note of it and follow suit.
Additionally, both Little and Gabriel pointed out that, unfortunately, most of the foods found to contain these supposedly harmful substances are advertised to our kids.
In the case of Red Dye No. 3, there are 2,000+ food products that are marketed to children that contain this.
And it’s not as if there isn’t some truth to the potential harms of these substances.
According to EWG, Red Dye No. 3 has been linked to numerous behavioral issues in children, as well as to cancer. Potassium bromate is also well connected to the existence of cancer in our youth.
As for bromated veggie oil, this can build up in the body until damage to the nervous system is caused. Hormone and reproductive systems, including low sperm counts, have been found to be linked to propylparaben. And titanium dioxide, known to be included in the beloved candy Skittles, can supposedly adversely affect both the immune system and the human DNA.
Naturally, none of us want to worry about the above-mentioned health issues, especially in our children.
The question, however, is whether the government, at either a state or federal level, should decide to ban these, even if it is supposedly for our good.
For Gabriel, the answer is an undeniable yes.
As he said of the bill in a February news release, “Californians shouldn’t have to worry” that the foods and drinks found at their local grocer “might be full of dangerous additives or toxic chemicals.” And while he might be right on that note, he might not be in claiming that it is the right of the government to decide that for us. You know, like how they decided we all needed to be vaccinated.
Of course, the difference here is that with decades of these substances being ingested, there is much more “science” to go off of than just a few months of supposed research.
If the bill were to be signed into law by California’s governor Gavin Newsom, it would mean that common household items such as Sour Patch Kids, jelly beans, Trident sugar-free gum, Hostess desserts, Pez, and even Campbell’s soups and certain brands of bread would no longer be allowed to be sold in the state.
Now, as Little did point out, that doesn’t necessarily mean those beloved items would be lost to us for good. In fact, most of those food manufacturers make the same products for the EU but without the possibly to-be-banned chemicals. (I know, that doesn’t really make sense to me, either.)
They just might look or taste a bit different.
Of course, as the UK Daily Mail pointed out, a number of those food manufacturers are also likely to fight the bill. So who knows where this could go?