It would seem that your mother may have been correct all along.
According to the allegations made in a recently filed class action lawsuit in the United States, Skittles candies are “unfit for human consumption” and are allegedly poisonous enough to “change (your) DNA.”
Mars Inc., the popular chocolate bar brand and multinational manufacturer of Skittles and many other confections, is accused of selling and marketing these ‘toxic’ treats to children and people across the world for nearly half a century. The lawsuit was filed in California and was initiated by the plaintiff Jenile Thames.
According to the documents that were reviewed by NBC News, Thames claims that Skittles contain “heightened levels” of the synthetic substance titanium dioxide (TiO2) in their sugar laden formula. Titanium dioxide has the E number 171 and is a chemically synthesized substance. It is extensively regulated and exceeds the limits that the FDA has established for it.
The lawsuit notes that TiO2 was prohibited in France in 2019 and that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) decided it “could not be considered safe for consumption,” forcing the European Commission to restrict its use as a food ingredient earlier this year.
The lawsuit argues that Skittles are toxic and “unfit for human consumption”, but also that (any)“reasonable consumer would expect that [Skittles] can be safely purchased and consumed as marketed and sold,” adding after, “However, the products are not safe.”
The claim in the lawsuit that those who consume Skittles and any other goods made by Mars that have the potential to contain the dangerous chemical are putting their health in jeopardy is perhaps the most alarming component of the lawsuit. It goes on to read even that people “are at heightened risk of a host of health effects for which they were unaware stemming from genotoxicity — the ability of a chemical substance to change DNA.” Really?
When harmful substances are exposed to certain chemical and biological agents, they have the potential to cause genetic instabilities and alterations that, in turn, can lead to mutations and diseases such as cancer. This phenomenon is referred to as genotoxicity, which, in a nutshell, refers to the ability of harmful substances to damage genetic information in a person’s cells.
The defendant believes that the company “has long known of the health problems posed” and they were “committed to phasing out” TiO2 in its product, although they have not implemented it just yet. For what reason, it’s unknown, but their failure to act on this has come to bite them.
During this time, a representative for Mars made the following statement to the Today show on NBC: “While we do not comment on pending litigation, our use of titanium dioxide complies with FDA regulations.” I mean, of course they’re going to say that.
It may be a good idea to put the Skittles down, at least for now.
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