SAN FRANCISCO—Center for Food Safety blasted Mars, Inc. today for failing to honor its pledge to remove dangerous toxins from Skittles and its other products by 2021. In an agreement with Center for Food Safety and consumer advocacy groups, the top candy producer pledged in 2016 to remove all titanium dioxide from its candy and food products within five years—but a new lawsuit shows that Mars has not fulfilled its pledge.
Below is a statement by Center for Food Safety policy director Jaydee Hanson:
"When the Center for Food Safety presented Mars, Inc. with data showing that its candies contained significant amounts of nano-sized titanium dioxide, the company did the right thing and took an additional step, agreeing in 2016 to take all titanium dioxide out of its candies and other foods over the next five years. Sadly, Mars seems to have not kept its word to its US customers.
"This is tragic for the millions of kids in the US who enjoy Mars products, and for Mars' workers. Studies of the effects of inhaling titanium dioxide make it clear that workers breathing the dust while manufacturing the candy may be even more at harm than those of us who consume Mars candy.
"Mars could have been a leader in removing toxins from our food chain, but instead they are lagging behind. We will continue to push Mars to act responsibly and keep its word. We understand other groups are now suing Mars for still having titanium dioxide in Skittles. Had Mars kept its word to Center for Food Safety, there would be no grounds for the suit. We are also petitioning the FDA to withdraw titanium dioxide from the list of approved food additives as has its counterpart in Europe."
Center for Food Safety started a new citizen petition urging FDA to ban all food uses of titanium dioxide. The "Taste the Toxin" petition uses Mars' broken commitment as a reminder that we cannot rely on voluntary commitments of companies, and instead need mandatory government regulations to keep our food safe.