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Red Vines Black Licorice Candy Recalled for High Lead Content

By Nasima Hossain
Public Health Advocate

The American Licorice Co. voluntarily recalled 1-pound bags of its Red Vines Black Licorice Twists after the California Department of Public Health found levels of lead in the candy that exceed the state standards. If you have the candy please throw it away immediately. The candy has dangerous amounts of lead in it amounting to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving, officials said.

Lead in any amount is harmful to pregnant women and children. Lead causes IQ deficits, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and deficits in vocabulary, fine motor skills, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination. High levels of lead can cause permanent brain damage and death.

The licorice was distributed inside and outside of California. California public health officials are working with the company to determine where it was shipped. Pregnant women and parents of small children should contact their health care provider if they have recently eaten the licorice and throw the rest of it away.

This recall is a great example of how our public health protections keep us safe, if the current slew of anti-regulatory bills that are being introduced in the House and Senate are passed into law. I cannot guarantee as your Public Health Advocate that we will have the same protections that we take for granted now.  For more on the bills and how to protect your public health safeguards go to the Coalitions for Sensible Safeguards.

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