Taste the Rainbow or unfit to eat will be up to the courts to decide in this Skittles lawsuit filed by a group of consumers suing candy maker Mars, alleging Skittles contain a "known toxin" that makes the rainbow candies "unfit" to eat.
Seeking class-action status filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday, attorneys for San Leandro resident Jenile Thames said that Skittles were unsafe for consumers because they contain "heightened levels" of titanium dioxide or, TiO2, as a food additive.
According to the lawsuit, titanium dioxide is used in paint, adhesives, plastics and roofing materials, and can cause DNA, brain, and organ damage, as well as lesions in the liver and kidneys.
In May 2021, the European Food Safety Authority announced that titanium dioxide "can no longer be considered safe as a food additive." However, the food additive is still legal in the United States.
According to the FDA's Code of Federal Regulation, "The color additive titanium dioxide may be safely used for coloring foods generally." However, the FDA regulates the quantity of titanium dioxide must not exceed 1% of the food's weight.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for fraud and California consumer protection laws violations.
The case is Thames V Mars Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-04145.
The outcome of the suit, where the claimant also states that there have been violations of California consumer protection laws, remains to be determined.