California Food Ban

The Lempert Report
March 31, 2023

There's a bill being proposed that will ban some food products like Skittles, Pez, those products. A lot of candies that have harmful additives and food dyes. And there's a big concern and a big debate going on because these companies don't use these artificial ingredients outside of the US. It's like outside of the US you can't buy a product with high fructose corn syrup. The other countries don't allow it. But here, for our population, and we have just as we spoke about the obesity levels, the diabetes levels, all going through the roof, you know, we feed our kids and ourselves all these ingredients. And finally, California's gonna try to ban this. Do you think they'll be successful?

Sally: Well, I don't have high hopes that they will, because I think that the feeling in this country for so long has been having the freedom of choice, over those things. But as well, the food companies that make these products have a lot of influence. And so, what I hope comes from this, if they are not banned, because we know that these companies can make these products and can make them taste good without using ingredients like brominated, vegetable oil, potassibromate, those dyes, red dye number three, and the yellow dyes that we know cause learning issues in children and hyperactivity and are linked to all kinds of diseases. We know that these companies can make those products without those ingredients. So we as consumers have to show them our power by not buying these products that have those ingredients and encouraging them to give us the healthier product and then we'll buy it.

Phil: Yeah. Because they're selling these healthier products or these products without these dangerous ingredients to other countries. Especially in Europe. So we know to your point, that it can be done. Also there's a new study that has come out about obesity that's come from the George Institute for Global Health, the University of New South Wales, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And what they found is 60% of food in America contains unhealthy additives. 60%! That's artificial additives, preservatives, sweeteners, coloring flavor agents, and it represents a 10% increase since the year 2001. What they did, which was really interesting, these researchers worked with Nielsen Home scan panel data to analyze the proportion of products that purchased by US households, and they found 60% of what we're eating is not good for us. 

Sally: Yes. And to be honest with you, Phil, I was surprised that there has been an increase in the additives because I thought over the last couple of decades that we were moving towards consumers asking for more transparency and wanting to know what's in their food and wanting to buy more natural ingredients. However, there are a lot more products available that are more natural and don't have these terrible additives in them, but they're priced at a level that not everybody can afford. So a lot of shoppers are forced to buy these foods that have additives in them in order to feed their families. I think this is a great concern that we all in the food industry and as consumers should have. 

Phil: Absolutely.