Sen. Willie Preston

CHICAGO — State Senator Willie Preston introduced new legislation to ban harmful chemicals in candy, soda and other food items sold and produced in Illinois.

“This legislation, in its simplest form, increases food safety for Illinoisans,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “These substances have been used in food for decades, and new evidence shows they can pose serious threats to our health and to the health of our kids.”

Senate Bill 2637 will ban specific, dangerous food additives from being used in the manufacturing, delivering, distributing, holding or selling of food products. These additives include brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye no. 3.

Preston joined Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, State Representative Anne Stava-Murray and advocates at the Healthy Lifestyle Hub to announce the initiation of the Illinois Food Safety Act and emphasize the legislation’s intent. As a father of six, Preston stressed that the legislation prioritizes children, who face heightened risks from these chemicals due to their developing bodies and increased consumption of these types of food products.



“Illinois families deserve to have access to the healthiest food options,” Preston said. “This legislation does not seek to ban any products or take away any of our favorite foods. This measure sets a precedent for consumer health and safety to encourage food manufacturers to update their recipes to use safer alternative ingredients.”

Preston intends to work alongside his colleagues this legislative season to include additional additives like titanium dioxide. Additionally, his proposed legislation will call for studies on the potential health risk of BHA and BHT.

Additional remarks in support of this legislation can be found in a recent Sound of the State podcast episode with Senator Preston linked here.