IACM Statement on California Governor Newsom Signing AB 418 to Ban Certain Food Ingredients

Media Contact: Meredith Huddle
[email protected]

October 9, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —  The International Association of Color Manufacturers (IACM) remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the highest safety standards for colors used in consumer products and firmly believes in evidence-based decision-making rooted in sound scientific assessments.

The signing of California’s AB 418 diverges from this principle, as it bypasses the established safety standards and enforces a patchwork food safety system in the state. Notably, no credible safety concerns regarding FD&C Red No. 3 have been identified by any authoritative regulatory body, including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). These regulatory bodies have maintained that FD&C Red No. 3 is safe for use in food products. The passing of AB 418 in California unnecessarily undermines these established principles and creates confusion in food safety.

Policymaking must rely on evidence-backed conclusions from established regulatory bodies. In fact, the FDA is currently re-evaluating FD&C Red No. 3. If California had genuinely felt that these ingredients were such a health risk that it must act ahead of an FDA conclusion, then the appropriate course of action would have been for the state to set up its own process to make scientifically based conclusions on an ingredient’s safety.