SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- New legislation modeled after a law in California would ban five food chemical additives in Illinois to encourage the use of safer ingredients.
The proposed measure would ban the following five potentially harmful chemicals found in food and drink products from being sold in Illinois: brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, proylparaben, red dye no. 3 and titanium dioxide, which is an additive used and approved for use in sunscreen and candy products like Skittles.
Backers of the bill said the goal is not to ban food products, but to encourage the use of safer ingredients.
Experts speaking Tuesday said these five chemicals are linked to serious health problems, including behavioral and reproductive issues and an increased risk of cancer. The European Union and California have already banned or restricted the majority of these chemicals.
Proponents of the Illinois Food Safety Act hope California's new law will help pave the way for Illinois to follow suit.
"We in the state of Illinois will not allow these food additives that are putting the risk of our children at stake, to remain in the food supply. We are all pleased the state of California took some action. We're going to take similar action, and we are going to take it a step further," said state Sen. Willie Preston, D-Chicago.
The National Confectioner's Association is against the bill, and released a statement saying in part, "This bill would replace a uniform national food safety system with a patchwork of inconsistent state requirements created by legislative fiat that will increase food costs, undermine consumer confidence, and create confusion around food safety."
The statement continued on to say the public should be relying on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when it comes to evaluating the safety of food ingredients and additives. The FDA said it does not comment on proposed or pending legislation.