California has passed a law banning four food additives commonly found in soda and candies – though the measure does not block the sale of Skittles, as social media posts suggest.
The law had been dubbed the “Skittles ban” because an earlier bill targeted titanium dioxide, a chemical found in the sweet.
But last month lawmakers removed that specific chemical from the bill.
It instead bans several other chemicals that other countries already prohibit.
The California Food Safety Act blocks the sale of foods containing brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and Red Dye 3, some of which have been linked to cancer in animals.
Companies have until 1 January 2027 to remove the additives from their products.
After signing the bill, California Governor Gavin Newsom called it “a positive step forward” until the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “reviews and establishes national updated safety levels for these additives”.
Still, that did not prevent misinformation from circulating online.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the pop culture account Daily Loud falsely stated that California would ban Skittles candy in 2027. The post was viewed 20 million times.
American actor and television host Mario Lopez also spread the false news, writing on X: “Crime is through the roof, worst drug epidemic ever & homelessness at an all time high in CA… Let’s focus on Skittles”.
The four additives included in the California law have already been banned by the European Union.
Titanium dioxide, the chemical found in Skittles, is also banned in several other places, including the EU, however the FDA has said the chemical can be safely consumed in small quantities.