Big changes in California's food safety laws, preparing for a safe and healthy spooky season, and what to know about breast cancer in this week's food safety, health, and nutrition news roundup.

Food safety, health, and nutrition news you may have missed

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed AB 418, the California Food Safety Act, into law. Beginning in 2027, foods containing Red 3, brominated vegetable oil, propylparaben, and potassium bromate will no longer be permitted for sale or distribution in the state. But don’t call it a “Skittles ban,” despite what you may have seen this week on social media and other new outlets; Skittles contain none of the four ingredients the bill bans and will be unaffected by AB 418. Manufacturers of other foods containing those four ingredients will have more than two years to reformulate. 
Read more at The Washington Post: California isn’t banning Skittles, but four additives will be removed

Gov. Newsom also signed CA AB 899 into law this week, making California the first state to require manufacturers of powdered infant formula and baby food to test their products for heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead. Manufacturers must begin this testing in 2024, and as of 2025, any batch of product with test results that find unacceptable levels of heavy metals will not be permitted for sale in California. There is currently no FDA regulation requiring heavy metals testing in infant formula and foods for children under age 2, though heavy metals exposure is especially dangerous for young children.
Read more at Consumer Reports: Baby foods sold in California will have to adhere to strict new rules for lead and other heavy metals

As the nation’s children prepare for the culmination of spooky season, CSPI has rounded up a list of treats that contain Red 3, a carcinogenic synthetic food dye banned for use in cosmetics and topical drugs. Though it will soon be banned in California, there are no federal regulations prohibiting Red 3’s use in food. Here’s what to look for in your trick-or-treater’s bucket this month.
Read more at CSPI: Carcinogenic Red 3 is hiding in these Halloween candies 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One out of every eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, and one in 39 women—an estimated 43,600 in 2021—will die of the disease each year. Yet a third of the average woman’s risk after menopause may be due to diet, exercise, or other factors that she can change. Here’s what you may not know. 
Read more at NutritionAction: What may—and may not—lower your risk of breast cancer

Your kitchen harbors more bacteria than any other room in your house. While the lion’s share are harmless, some can cause nasty (and even long-lasting) effects. Here’s how to keep your kitchen safe.
Read more at NutritionAction: How to keep your kitchen safe

Thanks to The Healthy Cook Kate Sherwood, the CSPI test kitchen is among the cheeriest places on Earth—and you can give a gift that makes your loved ones’ home kitchens just as bright and nourishing. Here’s our 2023 cookbook gift guide, featuring something for everyone on your list—just in time for holiday shopping season.
Read more at CSPI: Holiday gift guide 2023: A cookbook for anyone on your list

tangerines in front of a fruit bowl

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