U.S – As concerns about the safety of food additives escalate, a wave of state-level legislation has emerged across the United States, with Pennsylvania and Kentucky taking notable steps to address potentially harmful chemicals in food products.

The introduction of bills in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, alongside ongoing actions in other states, highlights the growing momentum for stricter regulation of food additives at both the state and federal levels.

Pennsylvania has introduced two bills, HB 2116 and HB 2117, aimed at prohibiting nine chemicals from being used as food additives due to potential health risks.

These bills target a range of additives linked to cancer, behavioral issues, and damage to various bodily systems. The bipartisan effort led by State Representatives Natalie Mihalek and Melissa Shusterman signals a bipartisan push for enhanced food safety measures.

California’s pioneering California Food Safety Act and subsequent bills banning additional food colorants serve as a model for state-level action against harmful additives.

Other states like Illinois, New York, Missouri, and Washington have followed suit, indicating a nationwide trend toward stricter regulation.

Furthermore, global bans on certain additives by countries like the EU, Great Britain, China, and Japan highlight international consensus on the risks posed by these substances.

While state-level initiatives gain traction, the FDA has also been prompted to review and address concerns regarding food additives. The agency’s revocation of authorization for brominated vegetable oil (BVO) and ongoing efforts to modernize post-market food chemical safety reviews demonstrate a proactive response.

However, critics argue that a more comprehensive, science-based approach originating from the federal level is necessary to ensure consistency and effectiveness in food safety regulations.

The National Confectioners’ Association (NCA) has voiced concerns about the potential drawbacks of state-level bans on food additives. They emphasize the importance of a science-based approach and FDA oversight to maintain consumer confidence and prevent inconsistencies that could lead to increased costs and confusion in the food industry.

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