Popular Food Reportedly “Toxic” – Lawyers Called In!
(DailyVantage.com) – Skittles is one of the most recognizable candies on the market. The bright, colorful spheres, with the catchy slogan “taste the rainbow,” are one of the best-selling in the US market. Yet, a recent lawsuit, Thames v. Mars, Inc., claims they contain a toxic ingredient, and the plaintiff in the case is seeking class-action status.
On Thursday, July 14, San Leandro, California resident Jenile Thames filed a lawsuit against Skittles manufacturer Mars, Inc. The paperwork claims the candies contain a “known toxin,” titanium dioxide (TiO2), which can lead those who consume it to suffer “health effects… stemming from genotoxicity.” Genotoxicity refers to the ability to cause damage to DNA.
What Is Titanium Dioxide?
There are different types of titanium dioxide. One of them is a food-grade variety used to help enhance the whiteness or opacity of the food to which it’s added. A host of goods contain the additive, such as pastries, chocolate, coffee creamer, chewing gum, and candies. To qualify for this type of use, it must have a purity level of 99%.
Still, while the FDA classifies it as Generally Recognized as Safe, other organizations, such as the European Food Safety Authority, say people should refrain from consuming TiO2 because it can potentially cause neurotoxicity or inflammation. The lawsuit relies on this information and a press release from Mars Inc. from February 2016 indicating the company committed to removing nanoparticles from its products. Yet, today’s products still list the ingredient.
The EU Moves to Ban the Additive
The European Union’s Food Safety Authority has banned the use of titanium dioxide as a food additive, which the agency no longer considers safe. The agency established the regulation on February 7, 2022, following a study of the effects of the additive on the body.
The authority’s new guidelines include a six-month phase-out period through August 7, after which a complete ban occurs. The commission is allowing TiO2 to remain provisionally on the list of acceptable additives for use as a colorant in medicines to avoid a potential shortage of drugs that use it.
In the lawsuit, Thames says the product’s availability on the market would lead one to think it’s safe to consume, but “the products are not safe.” He is seeking damages for fraud and violating California’s consumer protection laws.
According to The Guardian, an email from a Mars spokesperson says the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
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