Skittles unfit for consumption as lawsuit claims it contains a known toxin

A shock lawsuit has claimed that Skittles contain a “known toxin”, rendering them “unfit for human consumption”.

The potentially dangerous ingredient is called titanium dioxide, a type of artificial coloring that is used to give a cloudy effect or a white base to the candy.

Jenile Thames, a resident of San Leandro, California, on Thursday (July 14) filed a suit against the candy maker Mars Inc in northern California, on the basis that the ingredient has potentially DNA-altering effects.

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The concerned citizen alleged that people who consume Skittles “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”.

Last year the European Food Safety Authority announced that “titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive”.

And Ms Thames said Mars knows of the danger of the additive, and even vowed not to use it in the past.

In February 2016 the company publicly vowed that it would phase out titanium dioxide, the civil suit contends.

Mars said that "consumers today are calling on food manufacturers to use more natural ingredients in their products”, and that's the reason they were phasing out the ingredient.

But Thames said in the suit that this was an attempt to play down its dangers.

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“Incredibly, Defendant even claimed that ‘[a]rtificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety’,” Thames said. “In doing so, Defendant concealed from consumers material information it knew.”

Thames insists that Mars still sells sweets in the US that contains titanium dioxide as an additive and is “failing to inform consumers of the implications of consuming the toxin”.

Thames also took issue with "the contrast in color between the font and packaging" which shows the chemical on the ingredient list on the Skittles packet.

“After oral ingestion, the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, however they can accumulate in the body," the European Food Safety Authority added.

Mars Inc has been contacted for comment.


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