Illinois State Capitol Building

Illinois Attempts to Follow California’s Lead, Proposes Food Additives Ban

Jan. 25, 2024
Illinois Food Safety Act introduced in state senate would prohibit use of brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, red dye No. 3 and titanium dioxide in packaged foods sold in the state.

Lawmakers in the state of Illinois are attempting to follow the lead of their California counterparts, introducing this week new legislation to ban five food additives in the state.

Illinois Sec. of State Alexi Giannoulias, state Sen. Willie Preston (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) initiated the Illinois Food Safety Act — Senate Bill 2637 — which calls for the prohibition of the use of brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, red dye No. 3 and titanium dioxide in candy, soda and other “ultra-processed,” packaged food products sold in the state.

The legislation points out links to health problems for each of the targeted ingredients, as well as the fact that they are banned in the European Union and other countries. It also mentions California’s law banning four of the five on Illinois’ list (titanium dioxide was removed from the California law). Advocates say the law is designed to protect children more likely to consume products containing the listed ingredients, and more at risk for the negative health impacts linked to the ingredients.

The bill also calls on an Illinois-based university or research-focused institution to study health risks associated with two other food ingredients: butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). If those additives (preservatives used in a wide variety of foods) are shown to pose a significant health risk, the bill says they would be subject to regulatory actions as well.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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