A consumer group is suing candy maker Mars, claiming Skittles contain a “known toxin” that makes rainbow candy “unfit” to eat.
A class action lawsuit filed Thursday in Oakland, California by San Leandro resident Jenile Thames alleged that Skittles are unsafe for consumers because they contain “elevated levels” of titanium dioxide.
Seeking the status of a class action lawsuit filed in US District Court by the Northern District of California on Thursday, attorneys for San Leandro resident Jenile Thames said the Skittles were not safe for consumers because they contain “elevated levels” of titanium dioxide, or TiO2, as a food additive.
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The lawsuit also says titanium dioxide will be banned in the European Union next month after a food safety regulator deemed it unsafe due to “genotoxicity,” or the ability to change DNA.
mars inc uses titanium dioxide to produce Skittles’ rainbow of artificial colors. In October 2016, the candy manufacturer shared in a press release It intends to remove titanium dioxide from its products in the next few years, but titanium dioxide is still used in products like Skittles today, the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, titanium dioxide is used in paints, adhesives, plastics, and roofing materials, and can cause DNA, brain and organ damageas well as injuries to the liver and kidneys.
“A reasonable consumer would expect [Skittles] can be safely purchased and consumed as marketed and sold,” the complaint said. “However, the products are not safe.”
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In May 2021, the European Food Safety Authority announced that titanium dioxide “can no longer be considered safe as a food additive”. However, the food additive remains legal in the United States.
According to the FDA Code of Federal Regulations, “Titanium dioxide color additive can be safely used to color foods in general.” However, the FDA regulates that the amount of titanium dioxide must not exceed 1% of the weight of the food.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for fraud and violations of California consumer protection laws.
Thames, of San Leandro, California, said he bought Skittles at a local QuikStop in April and wouldn’t have if he’d known.
Thames says that revising the label would not have helped because the ingredients in Skittles’ Bright red packages are difficult to read.
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The case is Thames V Mars Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-04145.
Mars did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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