SCHS’ most popular spicy snacks might be banned soon

SCHS STUDENTS’ FAVORITE SNACKS might be coming off of the shelf soon! (Mashed)

Nicolle Generaux | Editor-in-Chief

March 25, 2024

San Clemente High School’s beloved snacks –including Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Takis– may no longer be sold on campus. In the past month, California lawmakers proposed a bill that would ban the selling of these unhealthy foods in all public schools. 

“I’m really mad because spicy foods are my favorite snacks to eat,” commented senior Natalia Briganti. “I can’t imagine not being able to buy Takis at the school vending machine during break.”

Apparently, the legislation would prevent the distribution of foods that contain Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Blue 3, Green 3, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 due to their “detrimental health effects,” as stated by the bill’s author, Assembly-member Jesse Gabriel. Many of these artificial synthetic dyes are found in other snacks, like Twinkies, Gatorade, M&Ms, cereals and more. This ban also includes the coloring agent titanium dioxide, which has been banned in Europe since 2022. 

NEWSOM PASSES BILL IN OCTOBER 2023 banning several brands of candy and cakes. (NewYorkTimes)

Some of the “detrimental effects” that these artificial dyes have been associated with are hyperactivity in children, as well as unusual neurological behavior. Some scientists suspect that the rise of the use of artificial flavorings and colorings may contribute to the increase of behavioral issues in children; in the last two decades or so, the percentage of children and teenagers diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) grew from 6.1% to 10.2%. Additionally, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 have been found to be contaminated with carcinogenic substances like benzidine; however, these adverse effects seem to have only affected a small amount of children, making others believe that certain people are more sensitive to these dyes than others. 

This bill was introduced just five months after California Governor Gavin Newsom passed the California Food Safety Act, which banned the selling of red dye 3, brominated vegetable oil, and potassium bromate. 

“It’s kind of ridiculous that we have all these unhealthy kinds of ingredients in our food,” stated Jacob Ohman. “Maybe we should have health ratings on our products like Europe does.”

Gabriel and the other lawmakers intend to push this proposal to put pressure on the manufacturers to switch out their harmful ingredients for natural components, like fruit juice, to incorporate in their products. 

Arguments for the bill will be heard by the Assembly Education Committee within the next couple of weeks.

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