Reed Smith Client Alerts

Key takeaways

  • The California Food Safety Act prohibits four commonly used food additives starting in 2027.
  • Companies using the prohibited additives should start implementing a business plan.
  • Companies should monitor their risk, the litigation landscape, and other pending legislation in this area.


California recently enacted the California Food Safety Act, a new law that prohibits the use of four food additives commonly used in the United States, including red dye 3. This law aligns California with current restrictions that exist in most other major markets. However, it also presents new hurdles for food companies, which now must navigate how to approach a ban in California while the law remains unchanged in the remainder of the country. Below, we analyze the details of the Food Safety Act and the potential challenges facing companies and stakeholders selling into the U.S. market.

The Act

On October 7, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 418, titled the California Food Safety Act (the FSA). The FSA prohibits the manufacture, sale, and distribution of food products that contain brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, or red dye 3. The FSA permits the attorney general, a city attorney, a city counsel, or a district attorney to bring an action for violations of the statute. Penalties are capped at $5,000 for the first violation, but each subsequent violation carries a penalty of up to $10,000. The law will not be implemented until 2027.