Written by: Khalif Thompson
Skittles are popular, whether you're football legend Marshawn Lynch and have your own pack or you're delighted about the lime flavor that was introduced last year.
The multi-flavored candy treats, on the other hand, are facing legal implications for utilizing the hazardous chemical titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a food coloring.
This action, filed in the Northern District of California on Thursday, holds Mars Inc., the parent company of Skittles, liable for failing to comply with the state's consumer protection laws.
According to Reuters, the candy business pledged in 2016 to progressively remove TiO2 from its goods as part of a five-year program to eradicate artificial food coloring.
Plaintiff Jenile Thames felt the toxin removal was great news, but when he bought Skittles from a nearby gas station earlier this year, he discovered they still contained TiO2. He feels Mars Inc. failed to adequately warn customers about the dangers of the chemical, which is used in everything from adhesives to plastics.
According to the complaint, the European Union will also prohibit the chemical within the next month after safety experts discovered it might cause DNA alterations and organ harm. Thames added that if he had known the chemical was still being used, he would not have purchased the candy.
“Instead, Defendant relies on the ingredient list which is provided in minuscule print on the back of the Products," states the lawsuit, "the reading of which is made even more challenging by the lack of contrast in color between the font and packaging, as set out below in a manner in which consumers would normally view the product in the store.”
Thames is suing for unspecified monetary damages for alleged violations of consumer protection rules and fraud. Mars Inc. has yet to respond to the case.