‘Enough is Enough’: State-level ingredients ban unjust claims NCA

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

'The FDA is the only institution in America that can stop this sensationalistic agenda,' said the NCA. Pic: Eurolab
'The FDA is the only institution in America that can stop this sensationalistic agenda,' said the NCA. Pic: Eurolab

Related tags Nca Chocolate Confectionery Candy Food additive

The National Confectioners Association is using its influence on Capitol Hill to dispel misconceptions about food additives after several states have implemented bans independently of the FDA.

Along with the Sugar Reform Program, rising cocoa prices, and other raw materials - plus the economy - the National Confectioners Association (NCA) is fighting another potential threat to the industry and has launched a robust counter-offensive against various food additive legislations being implemented at state-level across the United States.

At the recent NCA State of the Industry Conference in Miami, John Downs, the trade organisation’s president & CEO, said: “These bans are popping up at state level all over the country, and we are doubling down on this, and we've developed a really excellent rapid response.”

Titanium Dioxide

The issues centre around food & colour additives found in confectionery and other foods including titanium dioxide and Red Dye 3, both of which are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and found in confectionery and other baked goods.

Despite the FDA, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Health Organization Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) agreeing in October 2023, that titanium was dioxide safe; some states have gone ahead unilaterally to ban the ingredient.

The European Union also banned titanium dioxide in 2021. Still, campaigners claim the decision was based on safety data and was not representative of the material approved for use as a food colour. Since then, credible food agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan have reviewed Europe’s data and confirmed that titanium dioxide is safe to use in food.

Red Dye 3

Regarding Red Dye 3, which is used in baked goods, confectionery products, supplements, desserts, ice cream, and snacks, authoritative bodies around the world, including the FDA, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and JECFA, have concluded the additive is safe to use in food.

“No authoritative body in the world has identified any safety concerns with the use of Red Dye 3 in food,” the NCA stated in a fact sheet issued to the industry.

The problem for confectionery and other food manufacturers in the US is that some states have seen the FDA as not acting quickly enough to at least address or review the food ingredients and have imposed their own bans.


It started with the state of California banning potassium bromate and propylparaben and has been followed by copycat state proposals – all of which are now under new review by the FDA.

“The agency recently conducted its own studies and has initiated steps to remove brominated vegetable oil from the US food supply. This is how our food safety system was designed to work, and it’s a real-time example of it working. Not only is FDA doing its job on these ingredients, but it is also making progress on modernising its review process to meet the growing demands of the organization,” the NCA stated.

Pennsylvania is the latest state to prohibit certain substances in food, leading to Chris Gindlesperger, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at NCA, to say “enough is enough”.

He told ConfectioneryNews that Pennsylvania is the latest in a series of states that is proposing to dismantle the national food safety system in what he described as an emotionally-driven campaign that lacks scientific backing.

“FDA is the only institution in America that can stop this sensationalistic agenda which is not based on facts and science. It’s time for FDA Commissioner Califf to wake up and get in the game.”

Downs said the NCA has already achieved some success with getting titanium dioxide removed from the list of banned ingredients in California.

“We successfully advocated to get the compliance deadline extended also for three years,” he said.

“And we're trying to put pressure on the FDA to get more involved and defend their responsibilities to protect our centralised regulatory framework for food and beverages in this country. We need them to wake up and get involved.”

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