Many of us have been “tasting the rainbow” dating back to childhood when it comes to enjoying the pint-sized round candy known as Skittles. The rounded treat that features a hard exterior with a chewy center, originally coming in a bright-red bag — green if you like sour! — has become a corner store staple ever since they first were introduced back in 1974.
However, a new lawsuit suggests that we’ve been putting our health at risk for years now by consuming Skittles due to the use of titanium dioxide as a food additive that gives the candy its artificial color.
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California resident Jenile Thames proposed a class-action lawsuit against Skittles parent company Mars Inc. for continuing to use “heightened levels” of titanium dioxide (TiO2) after vowing to remove it from the candy-making process in 2016. Genotoxicity, or the altering of DNA, is linked to TiO2 and as a result will be banned in the European Union next month based on a ruling by a food safety regulator.
More info on the pending lawsuit below, via Reuters:
“According to the lawsuit, titanium dioxide is used in paint, adhesives, plastics and roofing materials, and can cause DNA, brain and organ damage, and well as lesions in the liver and kidneys.
Thames, of San Leandro, California, said he bought Skittles at a local QuikStop in April, and would not have done so had he known their contents.
He said checking the label would not have helped because the ingredients on Skittles’ bright-red packages are hard to read.”
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The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association has since challenged the hazards surrounding use of TiO2 as a food additive, stating that the European Food Safety Authority found “no conclusive evidence showing harmful effects” as well as “no verifiable link has ever been proved between general intake of titanium dioxide and harm to human health.”
Thames surprisingly enough has a desire to still buy Mars products, just not the ones that use TiO2 — he cites Swedish Fish Soft & Chewy Candy, Black Forest Gummy Bears, Sour Patch Kids and Nerds as safer alternatives. So, why not Skittles?
Does this change your perspective, or future intake, of Skittles candy? Let your sweet tooth be heard!
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