Lawsuit launched against Skittles maker over high levels of toxic chemical 

A new lawsuit has been filed against Mars, the manufacturer of Skittles. The lawsuit claims that Skittles are “unfit for human consumption”, as they contain the toxic chemical, titanium dioxide. 

The lawsuit was filed by Jenile Thames, a consumer from California, on 14th July. The class–action suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, accusing Mars of endangering its customers by adding “heightened levels” of Ti02 as a food additive to Skittle. 

According to the lawsuit, the levels of titanium dioxide mean that consumers of 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.”

What is titanium dioxide (Ti02)? 

Titanium dioxide is commonly used in industrial products, like plastics, roofing materials, and paints. It’s also used in Skittles to give them their bright colors; but, last year, the European Food Safety Agency concluded that the chemical wasn’t safe to use as a food additive. 

Research into the chemical has found that the human body is incapable of breaking down the nanoparticles in Ti02, which can lead to a multitude of health issues, including cell necrosis, inflammation, and even changes to DNA. 

Mars pledged to phase out the use of titanium dioxide in 2016. However, the lawsuit alleges that the company has continued using titanium dioxide and has lied to its customers by telling them that its products are completely safe and that it “failed to inform consumers of the implications of consuming the toxin.”

The lawsuit also says: “Instead, Defendant relies on the ingredient list which is provided in minuscule print on the back of the Products, 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.”


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