Law Street Media

Mars Sued Over Titanium in Skittles

A beverage processing plant.

Industrial machine conveyor with plastic bottles in beverage factory, industry equipment.

William Mignin III filed a complaint against Mars Inc., alleging the defendant violated consumer protection statutes and committed fraud and unjust enrichment by knowingly using titanium dioxide as an ingredient in Skittles, a chemical that the plaintiffs say is unfit for human consumption.

According to the complaint, in 2016, the defendant publicly announced their commitment to phasing out the chemical of their candy product due to its known health hazards. In 2021, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued their report on the health concerns associated with titanium dioxide, determining the chemical is unsafe for human consumption.

In 2022, the defendant was required to comply with the EFSA’s (and European Commission’s) ban on the use of titanium dioxide, according to the complaint; however, the plaintiffs alleges that the defendant continues to use the chemical in their skittles product in the United States

The complaint cites Professor Maged Younes, Chair of EFSA’s expert Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF), who stated, “Taking into account all available scientific studies and data, the Panel concluded that titanium dioxide can no longer be considered safe as a food additive. A critical element in reaching this conclusion is that we could not exclude genotoxicity concerns after consumption of titanium dioxide particle.”

The plaintiff seeks an order declaring the defendant violated the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act injunctive relief the court deems necessary, monetary relief, and compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages.

The plaintiff is represented by Foot, Mielke, Chaves & O’Neil LLC.

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