Illinois Bans Four High-Risk Food Additives: Statewide Enforcement Begins 2027

April 23, 2024
1 min read
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Illinois state senators approved legislation on Thursday to ban several food additives that have been found to cause adverse health effects.

The Illinois Food Safety Act, introduced by State Senator Willie Preston (D-Chicago), would prohibit the manufacture and sale of foods containing brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, or red dye 3. These are commonly found in sodas and sweets.

Senate Bill 2637, known as the Illinois Food Safety Act, passed with a bipartisan vote of 37-15 and will now head to the House for consideration. The banned chemicals would include brominated vegetable oil, red dye No. 3, propylparaben, and potassium bromate.

These additives are used in a wide variety of food products. Brominated vegetable oil is a stabilizer used to keep citrus flavoring in sodas from separating and floating to the top. Propylparaben and potassium bromate are used in baked goods as preservatives. Red dye 3 is a common food dye used in candy and other products.

“This legislation does not seek to ban any product or take away any of our favorite foods,” Preston said in a press release on Wednesday. “This measure sets a precedent for consumer health and safety to encourage food manufacturers to update their recipes to use safer alternatives.”

“(Red dye 3) was banned by the FDA for use in cosmetics over 30 years ago. So, the FDA doesn’t allow you to put it on your face for makeup. But still, kids are eating this in candy,” said McClure in the Senate on Thursday. “That to me is outrageous. That’s why I am voting for this bill.”

Industry groups such as the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association have expressed consistent opposition to the bill throughout the legislative process. In January, it was reported that the IMA had issued a statement criticizing the well-meaning legislation, arguing that it would compromise the FDA’s authority and adversely affect the economy of Illinois by creating a complex and expensive set of regulations.

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Similarly, the National Confectioners Association has voiced concerns, suggesting that the bill would lead to higher food costs, diminish consumer confidence, and introduce uncertainty regarding food safety. The association emphasized that food regulation should be based on the scientific standards upheld by the FDA.

The additives would be banned from manufacturing starting January 1, 2027, with the sale, delivery, distribution, and holding of products containing the additives being banned starting in 2028. “We have given an extension to retailers, an extension for an extra year, for them to get in compliance,”  added Preston. “We don’t intend to fine people out of business at all.”

Violators are subject to fines of up to $5,000 for their first offense and up to $10,000 for each subsequent offense.

Tejal Somvanshi

Meet Tejal Somvanshi, a soulful wanderer and a staunch wellness advocate, who elegantly navigates through the enchanting domains of Fashion and Beauty with a natural panache. Her journey, vividly painted with hues from a vibrant past in the media production world, empowers her to carve out stories that slice through the cacophony, where brands morph into characters and marketing gimmicks evolve into intriguing plot twists. To Tejal, travel is not merely an activity; it unfolds as a chapter brimming with adventures and serendipitous tales, while health is not just a regimen but a steadfast companion in her everyday epic. In the realms of fashion and beauty, she discovers her muse, weaving a narrative where each style narrates a story, and every beauty trend sparks a dialogue. Tejal seamlessly melds the spontaneous spirit of the media industry with the eloquent prose of a storyteller, crafting tales as vibrant and dynamic as the industry she thrives in.

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