On April 18, 2024, Illinois Senate Bill 2637, also known as the Illinois Food Safety Act, passed the state Senate and was progressed to the House. The Illinois Food Safety Act would ban the use of four possibly toxic additives—red dye 3, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), potassium bromate, and propylparaben—from foods sold in the state, similar to the California Food Safety Act, which was passed in October 2023.

Originally, the Illinois Food Safety Act differed from the California Food Safety Act in that it exempted manufacturers, focusing on banning the targeted additives through retail sales. However, before the Illinois legislation passed the Senate, it was amended to include manufacturers. The amended Illinois Food Safety Act provides that, if passed, beginning January 1, 2027, a person or entity shall not manufacture a food product for human consumption that contains BVO, potassium bromate, propylparaben, or red dye 3. Beginning January 1, 2028, the law would prohibit the sale, distribution, holding, or offering of a food product for human consumption that contains those substances.

The Illinois Food Safety Act is just one of several pieces of state legislation targeting controversial food additives that have been introduced since the passage of the precedent-setting California Food Safety Act. For more information about the recent wave of state bills on food additives, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) activities in an effort to get ahead of an inconsistent patchwork of legislation, and criticisms of these bills, read Food Safety Magazine’s comprehensive coverage of the topic. For even further insight, listen to two recent Food Safety Matters podcast episodes: Episode 162 featuring Brian Sylvester, J.D., Partner in Perkins Coie LLP's Washington D.C. office and former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Attorney-Advisor, who discusses the nationwide ramifications and precedent set by the California Food Safety Act; and Episode 167 with James (Jim) Jones, FDA’s first Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods, who discusses FDA’s work to get ahead of state regulations with a more ambitious chemical safety agenda, including how the proposed Office of Food Chemical Safety, Dietary Supplements, and Innovation will handle chemical safety assessments in the future after the unification of the Human Foods Program.