Explainer: Why is California planning to ban Cheetos, Doritos in public schools?

According to media reports ingredients like "red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6" found in Cheetos and Doritos, including the fiery Flamin' Hot variety, could face a ban if the bill passes.

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California is making headlines with plans to ban popular snacks like Cheetos and Doritos from public schools. The move stems from a new bill aimed to prohibit foods, which contain artificial dyes, such as red and yellow. The lawmakers argued that it may pose health risks including DNA damage and hyperactivity.

A recent report by the Los Angeles Times sheds light on this legislation and raises eyebrows over synthetic colors found in various snacks. According to media reports ingredients like "red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6" found in Cheetos and Doritos, including the fiery Flamin' Hot variety, could face a ban if the bill passes. Other products like Froot Loops and Fruity Pebbles cereals, which also contain these dyes along with blue 1, might be affected as well.

Food products containing titanium dioxide under scrutiny

Moreover, certain soups and mac-and-cheese brands containing titanium dioxide are under scrutiny. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has advocated for the removal of foods containing this substance along with synthetic dyes due to potential health risks.

Jesse Gabriel, the bill's author and a state Assembly member, took to the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to announce the initiative. He emphasized the bill's goal of safeguarding children from harmful chemicals linked to cancer, immune system damage, hyperactivity, and neurobehavioral issues.

Not complete ban

However, the New York Post clarifies that the proposed law doesn't ban the sale of these snacks in California. Instead, schools would still be permitted to sell items with synthetic dyes but only after school hours or at off-campus events to ensure a balance between health concerns and snack availability.