A proposed bill in Illinois would put a fork in some of your favorite snack foods.

It's called the Illinois Food Safety Act and it was recently discussed in the state senate. It would trim down how many food additives are in things like soda, candy, and snacks.

The chemicals that the bill looks to ban specifically are:

  • brominated vegetable oil
  • potassium bromate
  • Propylparaben
  • red dye No. 3

What Those Are In


FDA says that brominated vegetable oil is something that citrus-flavored sodas use to keep the citrus flavor towards the top of the drink.

Propylparabens (which are said to disrupt the endocrine system) are found in some snack cakes, cookies, chips, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and more.

Potassium bromate is considered a carcinogen and can be found in pastries, bagels, bread, crackers, pizza crusts, pretzels, and more.

Red dye 3 (which research shows can cause cancer) is found in juice, soda, yogurt, baby food, cookies, frozen dairy desserts, and more.

That's a lot of snacks.

What Happens Next

The bill continues discussion in the Illinois Senate. It has mixed reactions, with some supporters arguing that Illinois families can be healthier. State Senator Seth Lewis, a Republican from Bartlett, said:

Several countries have already banned the chemicals that are listed in this legislation, and it is time we take a serious look at what is in the snacks, drinks and other foods we are putting in our bodies and into the bodies of our children. If we are going to take steps to make Illinois a place where people want to live rather than leave, this is exactly the kind of issue where we can and should find some bipartisanship.

Critics are rolling in too, like the National Confectioners Association who told NewsNation:

It’s time to stop pretending that Illinois state legislators have the scientific expertise to make these very important regulatory decisions. Usurping FDA’s authority does nothing but create a patchwork of inconsistent requirements that increase food costs, create confusion around food safety, and erode consumer confidence.

Illinois legislators are also hoping to add titanium dioxide to the list, which is found in coffee creamers, chewing gum, or anything else that's a white or opaque color.

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