State May Soon Ban Flaming Hot Cheetos From Schools

( – California is considering a ban on snacks like Flaming Hot Cheetos and others in a move aimed at significantly enhancing the quality of school food. The state assembly is proposing eliminating snacks containing specific artificial ingredients such as titanium dioxide, Blue 1, and Red 40. This ban would cover items like Hot Cheetos, certain Doritos flavors, and cereals such as Fruity Pebbles and Froot Loops.

Democrat Jesse Gabriel has called for amendments to regulations that require schools to provide healthy foods, including fruit and snacks made with vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins. The current rules, however, do not prohibit artificial additives, which Assembly Member Gabriel wishes to amend.

In a press release, Mr. Gabriel claimed that the additives are linked to cancer, immune system damage, neurobehavioral problems, and hyperactivity. He added that titanium dioxide was banned in the European Union in 2022, while specified foods are required to carry health warnings related to colorants and dyes.

“California has a responsibility to protect our students from chemicals that harm children, and that can interfere with their ability to learn,” he said.

Mr. Gabriel is supported in his efforts by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said that while he is a “small government guy,” he knows how much big industries impact political decisions through “an army of lobbyists.” He furthermore noted that, in his experience, few people in politics speak out in the interests of children.

The European Union banned titanium dioxide as a food additive two years ago after a study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded it could not exclude genotoxicity concerns. Genotoxicity refers to chemicals that can cause DNA or chromosomal damage, which can, in turn, cause cancer and other severe health conditions. Professor Matthew Wright, chair of the ESFA’s study, said that while evidence of harm is not conclusive, nor can it be ruled out. Therefore, there is no safe level for daily intake of the additives.

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