Will The Government Ban Louisiana’s Favorite Halloween Candy?
Halloween is right around the corner and you may want to stock up on candy corn.
Last week California passed a law banning red No 3, a synthetic food coloring that may cause cancer and now the Federal Drug Administration is under pressure to make it a federal law.
California became the first state to ban four food additives, including red No. 3, and public health advocates are pushing to remove the dye from the food supply nationwide. "I think the passage of the bill in California creates undeniable pressure on the FDA," says Dr. Peter Lurie, president and executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
In 1990, the FDA halted the use of red No. 3 in cosmetics and ointments or lotions due to it caused cancer in rats. As you can imagine, there will be groups against any kind of ban.
"The vibrant colors are important to our industry," says Christopher Gindlesperger, of the National Confectioners Association, a trade group that includes companies that make candy. Red No. 3 is also found in many other foods and beverages, such as bright-colored sodas, juices, yogurts, snacks and frozen desserts. He says his industry does not use any ingredients that do not comply with FDA's safety standards.
Candy corn, the only real Halloween candy (everything else, is just candy) may just find itself on the band list down the road. The classic corn-shaped Halloween candy made by Brach's contains Red 3—along with other food dyes of concern (Yellow 5 and Yellow 6).
Though synthetic food dyes in general have been linked to behavioral issues in kids, red dye 3 has been singled out for a ban due to the evidence on cancer. "It's very low-hanging fruit that FDA really should have picked decades ago," Galligan says, but the evidence that synthetic colors can influence children's behavior extends to a range of colors. His group has been urging the FDA to ban eight synthetic food dyes since 2008, including Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Yellow 6, and a rarely used orange hue.
You do have plenty of time as the California law doesn't go into effect until 2027, but by then the Federal Government may institute their own ban.
The Top 10 Most Popular Types of Halloween Candy in America
Gallery Credit: Alicia Selin