There's a new lawsuit against one of the most popular candies on the market, Skittles, claiming that they are not safe for people to eat.

Skittles are one of the most recognizable candies on the market. Everyone knows the rainbow candies, their flavors, and even commercials. However, their parent company, Mars, is currently being sued because you're tasting a little more than just the rainbow whenever you eat the candy.

Mars is being sued by a consumer because Skittles allegedly contains a "known toxin" that makes the candy "unfit for human consumption." According to Today:

Consumer Jenile Thames filed the lawsuit in Oakland, California, on Thursday, claiming in court documents obtained by NBC News that the candy contains “heightened levels” of titanium dioxide (TiO2).
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What's So Bad About Titanium Dioxide?

According to the Food and Drug Administration's Code of Federal Regulations, titanium dioxide is a color additive that can be safely used for coloring foods, as long as the quantity of titanium dioxide does not exceed 1% of the food's weight. While it is legal to use here in the United States, it is banned in many countries, especially throughout Europe.

In May of 2021, the European Food Safety Authority announced that titanium dioxide is "no longer considered safe when used as a food additive." In the report, the EFSA said:

"A critical element in reaching this conclusion is that we could not exclude <dfn class="onomasticon onomasticon-cursor-help" title="When a substance is capable of damaging the DNA in cells. ">genotoxicity</dfn> concerns after consumption of titanium dioxide particles. After oral ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, however they can accumulate in the body”.

Their report also says that genotoxicity may lead to carcinogenic effects. Now, Mars says that its use of titanium dioxide complies with FDA regulations in the United States. The lawsuit against Mars claims that the company said, in 2016, that they would be phasing out titanium dioxide in their products, but has failed to do so. In addition to that, the lawsuit claims that "in addition to the use of titanium dioxide in its products such as Skittles, Mars did not adequately warn consumers of these health risks," according to USA Today.

What Does This Lawsuit Mean for Skittles?

The plaintiff is seeking damages, with the amount to be determined at trial, for alleged fraud and multiple violations of California consumer protection laws. If the plaintiff wins, will Mars have to come up with new ways to make Skittles? Will they just have to put a disclaimer on the package? Or will anything change at all? Time will tell how this lawsuit plays out. The question here is this: does this cause enough concern for you to not want to eat Skittles anymore?

(H/T- Today/USA Today)

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