If any candy has an unfortunate name at a time like this, it is "Toxic Waste®" candy and bubble gum. And, right on cue, there is another recall announced (although quickly deleted, probably by the company). This time it is for Toxic Waste® Short Circuits™ Bubble Gum - see image below. ( Lot #15070SC12 which is located along the left side of the bag).
This product is imported to the U.S. from Pakistan, as are the various equally threatening-sounding candies that are distributed by Circle City Marketing and Distributing, doing business as Candy Dynamics, in Indianapolis, Indiana. They have an amazing website which kids would love (I have to admit, even I love it).
No, the cause of the recall is not nuclear waste from Japan or anywhere else. It is excessive levels of lead in the candy (almost double the allowed maximum amount). How did it get in? Probably through one of the ingredients, though we still don't know which one. Here's the ingredient list (courtesy of Walgreen's website,which sells it) and it doesn't sound very healthy for us, does it, even apart from the lead:
Sugar , Gum Base , Corn Syrup , Dextrose , Citric Acid , Artificial Flavors , Coconut Oil , Artificial Colors , (Yellow 5 , Red 40 , Blue 1) , BHA and BHT.
The distributors had another recall of candy recently also because of high levels of lead (see post for Jan. 28, 2011). This time the hazardous bubble gum product was distributed nationwide in the U.S. both through retail stores and mail order, as well as in Canada and in Switzerland (in more limited quantities).
Nor is this the only recent recall or warning for lead-contaminated children's candies.
Just a few days ago, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) warned consumers not to eat Hans Brand Santra Candy, this time imported from India, because of high of lead (almost triple allowed levels).
Wake up FDA! Let's stop importing this risky stuff for our children to eat. We have plenty of great candy makers right here in the U.S. who use safer ingredients. Many of these are struggling small businesses that could use some more market demand right now. Lead is no joke. It's dangerous, particularly for young children and pregnant women. As The Safe Food Handbook points out, as many as one in six U.S. children have been found to have very high levels of lead with no known lead paint cause for about a third of them. Lead in candy (and bubble gum) could be one of the causes. We don't need it!