Mars Inc. faces a lawsuit for its use of titanium oxide in Skittles candy, which the plaintiffs claim makes the candy “unfit for human consumption.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California last week. The plaintiffs claim Skittles deceived “reasonable consumers by misleading marketing, advertising, packaging, and labeling of its product.”
The Mars Inc. spokesperson declined to comment, but said “our use of titanium dioxide complies with FDA regulations.”
The Food and Drug Administration said titanium oxide is allowed in food as long as its quantity does not exceed 1% of the weight of food. It is also permitted in cosmetics and toothpaste.
The chemical is primarily used as a colorant.
The European Union is currently phasing out the chemical, with it being banned in food products by next month.