A New Lawsuit Against Skittles Claims the Candy to Be “Unfit for Human Consumption”

published Jul 18, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
skittles on counter top

The problems keep piling on for Mars. Earlier this year, the company issued a voluntary recall of a few of its popular products — such as Skittles, Starburst, and Life Savers gummies — after receiving consumer reports of “the potential presence of a very thin metal strand embedded in the gummies or loose in the bag.”

Now, Skittles and Mars are finding themselves in the middle of a legal issue, and it’s far from sweet. The candy company is facing a lawsuit claiming that Skittles contain titanium dioxide and are “unfit for human consumption.” The lawsuit was filed by Jenile Thames in Oakland, California.  

The chemical, also known as TiO2, can be used in paints, adhesives, plastics, papers, coatings, inks, and food products (including Skittles) and has been banned in Europe.

According to TODAY, the lawsuit also claims that the Mars company “has long known of the health problems posed” by TiO2. Mars mentioned plans to rid their candy of the toxins back in 2016, but the lawsuit alleges that harmful levels of the toxin can still be found in the candy.

In response to the news, a Mars spokesperson said they would not comment on the lawsuit but stated that the company’s use of titanium dioxide complies with FDA regulations. The lawsuit, however, claims that those who consume the candies “are at heightened risk of a host of health effects for which they were unaware stemming from genotoxicity — the ability of a chemical substance to change DNA.”

Thames states that had he known the candies had TiO2, he would not have purchased them and is therefore seeking unspecified damages for fraud, plus violations of California consumer protection laws.