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Science group raises concerns over Illinois’ attempt to ban food additives

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(The Center Square) – A move to ban certain food additives in Illinois is getting the attention of the scientific community.

The Illinois Food Safety Act in Senate Bill 2637 would ban several additives, including potassium bromate and red dye No. 3. California and New York are working on similar bans, but if enacted, Illinois would have the strictest food additive ban in the country.

“I want Illinoisans to be more confident when grocery shopping that they are not purchasing products that are laced with ingredients classified as toxic and harmful for human consumption,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Willie Preston, D-Chicago.

James Coughlin, food toxicology expert with the Institute of Food Technologists, said there should be a uniform set of rules for the entire country.

“This patchwork of several states having their own banned additives on a list make it very difficult for food manufacturers to sell things in interstate commerce,” Coughlin said.

The Institute of Food Technologists is a global organization of more 11,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food.

Craig Llewellyn, also with the Institute of Food Technologists, said states should trust the Food and Drug Administration on what additives should be banned.

“The science is generally there for the most part to demonstrate safety and the safe use and the intended use is really the key,” Llewellyn said.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association has already gone on record against Illinois’ proposed measure, saying it would set a dangerous precedent.