The rainbow might not taste quite as good as we thought, if a lawsuit filed against the candy company that makes Skittles turns out to have substantial evidence.
The Guardian reported yesterday that a California resident filed suit against Mars Inc on Thursday because they claim the company doesn't properly inform customers that the candy contains titanium dioxide. The dye was banned in France in 2016, and court documents say Mars agreed to remove the ingredient from its candy, but it still appears on some ingredients lists.
"Incredibly, Defendant even claimed that '[a]rtificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety,'" court documents the Guardian obtained claim. "In doing so, Defendant concealed from consumers material information it knew."
The science behind the ingredient's ban is admittedly a little thin. In 2016 the European Food Safety Authority said titanium dioxide isn't currently considered toxic or dangerous when ingested, but that many experts think more testing is needed. In particular the EFSA said titanium dioxide, which gives candy a white background or a cloudy effect, could negatively impact reproductive organs and can theoretically build up in the body over time — albeit in small amounts.
It's not clear which party will win the actual suit, but it's not unfair to say that consumers have a right to be concerned about the chemical's effects on their bodies. More research would be helpful in clarifying just how concerned they really should be.
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