4 Common Food Additives Banned In California From 2027

Assembly Bill No. 418 for food additives

4 Common Food Additives Banned In California From 2027

On October 7, California Governor Gavin Newsom officially signed the Assembly Bill No. 418.

It also means that 4 food additives are banned in the state, namely:

  1. Red dye No.3
  2. Brominated vegetable oil
  3. Potassium bromate
  4. Propylparaben

Assembly Bill No. 418 will officially take effect on January 1, 2027. After that, the above four food additives shall not be manufactured, sold, delivered, distributed, possessed, or offered for sale. Products containing any of these substances will be subject to corresponding penalties.

Currently, food and beverage companies have less than four years to transform and adapt. Businesses have two paths to take. First, the production and development of food and beverages containing such additives must be abandoned. Or need to find natural alternative ingredients.

California Takes First Steps: The Journey Of Assembly Bill No. 418

In March 2023, California Congressman Jesse Gabriel proposed this bill. It is co-sponsored by both consumer rights watchdog Consumer Reports and the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. The bill aims to improve regulatory deficiencies caused by “loopholes” in the FDA’s processes.

In September 2023, the California State Senate passed the California Food Safety Act by a vote of 33 to 3.

In October 2023, the Governor of California signed the AB 418 bill. This regulation was officially established.

In fact, this regulation originally covered five food additives, including No. 3 red dye, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, and titanium dioxide. The initiator believes that these five types all have certain health problems.

For various reasons, titanium dioxide was eventually dropped from this list. Although this California regulation does not involve titanium dioxide, many questions remain about its safety. The EU market has also banned the application of titanium dioxide.

Why Should These 4 Food Additives Be Banned?

It is reported that 1.2W food and beverages, such as orange juice soda, frosting, hamburgers, candies, and other processed foods in the United States contain these four food additives. A large amount of scientific research data has found that these four substances are related to reproductive health, children’s behavior, development, etc. Therefore, health problems have become the direct reason for the ban of these four additives.

Red Dye No.3

It is a synthetic red pigment. As early as 1990, the United States banned the use of this ingredient in cosmetics. But it can still be used in food, dietary supplements, and medicines.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this synthetic pigment. In October 2022, the Center for Science in the Public Interest submitted a citizen petition to the FDA, requesting the FDA to remove this ingredient from the list of color additives approved for use in foods and dietary supplements.

Brominated Vegetable Oil

It is an emulsifier used in citrus drinks. It maintains flavor consistency and prevents seasonings from floating to the top. The regulation also bans brominated vegetable oils used in some store-brand sodas.

Potassium Bromate

As an oxidizing agent, it is used in baking applications to help the dough rise and improve the texture of baked goods. Therefore, it is often used in bread dough and baked goods.


It is used as a preservative in food and is also found in water-based cosmetics.

In fact, the European Union has banned these four additives after reviewing the safety of food additives in 2008. Except for red dye No. 3. This additive can be used for candied cherries.

The Bill May Affect Fluctuations Across The United States

Although only California in the United States has officially banned these four food additives now through legal means, its impact is a series of chain reactions.

First, from a business perspective, this law affects food across the United States, not just California. The US “Consumer Reports” indicates that California’s economic size is important in the United States. Statista data shows California’s GDP will reach US$3.59 trillion in 2022. It is followed by Texas and New York, with $2.35 trillion and $2.05 trillion, respectively. The GDP of these three states accounts for almost one-third of the total GDP of the United States.

Existing data shows that as many as 1.2W products contain these four food additives. It’s unlikely that food and beverage manufacturers would produce two versions of a product, one sold only in California and one throughout the rest of the country.

Second, a ripple effect has already occurred, with other states beginning to follow California’s lead. A similar bill before a committee in the New York Legislature also seeks to ban these four food additives, along with titanium dioxide.

Meanwhile, the US Environmental Working Group has signed two petitions. These petitions can push the FDA to take action to ban some substances that are harmful to humans. The FDA is also considering a complete ban on using titanium dioxide and red dye No. 3 in food.

However, some industry groups are not very sympathetic to California’s regulations. For example, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) claims that the law will weaken consumer confidence, confuse food safety, and increase corresponding food costs.


On October 7, 2023, California signed Assembly Bill No. 418. It prohibits manufacturing and selling four food additives: Red dye No.3, Brominated vegetable oil, Potassium bromate, and Propylparaben. It is just a starting point. With the improvement of consumer health awareness and the iterative updates of scientific research, the industry will question many synthetic additives due to safety issues. Some raw materials may be directly banned due to safety concerns. Natural alternative additives will become mainstream in the market, especially natural pigments and preservatives.

Welcome to contact Nutri Avenue to learn about safer natural colors and natural preservatives. Let us help food safety together.

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