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Skittles could be banned after a lawsuit claims they are toxic

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The famous candy Skittles is in danger of being left out of the market after a consumer sued the giant producer Mars Inc. , alleging that these candies are not suitable for consumption because they contain a known toxin that the company had committed to eliminate six years ago . .

Skittles are toxic, according to a consumer lawsuit against Mars Inc.
Skittles are toxic, according to a consumer lawsuit against Mars Inc.

Last Thursday, July 14, Jenile Thames filed a lawsuit in federal court in Oakland, California, accusing Mars of endangering consumers of the product by using “elevated levels” of titanium dioxide, or TiO2, as an additive. alimentary.

In addition, he alleges that the company was aware “for a long time” about “the health problems” posed by this chemical compound.

“A reasonable consumer would expect that it could be safely purchased and consumed as marketed and sold,” says the lawsuit, which seeks compensation for damages and violation of consumer protection laws. “However, the products are not safe.”

The private company based in McLean, Virginia, had committed in February 2016 to remove artificial colors from its food products within the next five years.

In October 2016, it confirmed that titanium dioxide was among the colorants being phased out , according to the nonprofit Center for Food Safety, citing an email from Mars.

“We do not comment on ongoing legal proceedings, but our use of titanium dioxide complies with the regulations of the United States Food Administration (FDA), ”Mars defended himself in conversation with The Washington Post.

The FDA restricts the use of this substance to 1% of the weight of food , an amount that, according to the agency, is not harmful to health. For its part, the European Commission has completely banned its use as of August.

Commonly used in the United States, titanium dioxide is a chemical compound that is processed and used as a color additive, anti-caking agent, and bleach in thousands of products, including candy, gum, dressings, and some dairy products. It is also used in non-food products such as sunscreens and medicines.

Several scientific studies have shown that it is a substance that can alter DNA, cause intestinal inflammation, damage the immune system, and is a possible carcinogen.

Scientists from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the substance should be withdrawn from all European foods after reviewing recent research on the “genotoxicity” of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. say, “its ability to damage DNA and cause cell mutations, which could cause cancer,”reportedTheGuardian.

Britain and Canada continue to allow titanium dioxide in food.

Pierre Herckes , a professor of chemistry in the Arizona State University School of Molecular Sciences and the author of a 2014 study on titanium dioxide,he pointedtold The New York Times that he has “no clear yes or no” on whether consumers should cut back on these products.

However, the expert said that, “since candy and sweets contain some of the highest levels of titanium dioxide and are consumed primarily by children, there is reason to worry , given their smaller bodies and the doses higher relatives”, deepened the newspaper.

“Titanium dioxide is really the example of many chemicals that were reviewed for safety, in some cases, over 50 years ago by the FDA and haven’t been reviewed since ,” Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs, told the outlet. of the Environmental Working Group. “So titanium dioxide is part of a larger story about regulatory failure .”

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