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CA Bill Would Ban Flamin' Hot Cheetos & Other Snacks in Public Schools
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By News
Published 4 weeks ago on
March 13, 2024

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The bill targets additives linked to hyperactivity and behavioral issues in children.

The legislation encourages companies to modify foods served in California public schools.

If passed, California would be first state to ban these additives from school foods.


California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel has introduced a groundbreaking bill that would ban seven additives, including six artificial food dyes and titanium dioxide, from foods served in the state’s public schools. The proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 2316, is aimed at additives linked to hyperactivity and behavioral issues in children.

“This legislation will not ban any specific foods or products,” Gabriel clarified during a virtual news conference. “The goal here is to encourage companies to make minor modifications to products sold in California if they want their products to be sold in California public schools.”

However, his bill covers six synthetic food dyes like Red 40 and Yellow 6. They are found in snack foods such as Takis, Doritos, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

The bill, if passed, would make California the first state to ban these additives from school foods. The additives in question are often used to enhance the visual appeal of foods, but Gabriel argues that there are natural alternatives available.

FDA Hasn’t Found Link Between Dyes and Behavior Problems

The Food and Drug Administration has not established a direct link between behavioral problems and synthetic dyes for children in the general population. However, Gabriel cited a 2021 assessment from the state of California that found an association even in some children without ADHD diagnoses.

The International Association of Color Manufacturers and the International Food Additives Council have criticized the bill, arguing that it undermines the FDA’s authority and causes unnecessary consumer confusion.

However, Melanie Benesh, vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, a co-sponsor of Gabriel’s bill, countered that the FDA is “asleep at the wheel.” She argued that the state should not have to introduce such a bill and called for a more proactive federal regulator.

If the bill is signed into law this year, it will go into effect at the beginning of 2025.

Read more at NBC News.

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