California Senate Passes AB 418.

The California Senate passed AB 418, The California Food Safety Act. Neal Fortin takes a quick look at the implications.

On September 11, 2023, the California Senate passed AB-418, The California Food Safety Act. If signed into law, AB-418 will prohibit the manufacturing, selling, delivering, distributing, holding, or offering for sale a food that contains brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, or Red dye 3.

AB-418 passed the Senate in a 33 to 3 vote and is now sent to Governor Gavin Newsom to be signed. If signed, the bill would go into effect on January 1, 2027.

This would almost certainly trigger legal challenges. The food additives brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, and propylparaben have FDA-approved uses in food. These would create a direct conflict of law between the state and the federal government.

It separated out red dye No. 3 because although red dye no. 3 is authorized by the FDA for use in food (21 C.F.R. § 74.303); the FDA banned the dye in 1990 for use in cosmetics after studies suggested that it caused thyroid cancer in rats at high doses. It is also banned in foods in the European Union. This will give a toehold for challengers of the law.


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