Licorice Lead Recall Showcases The Need For More Food Safety Programs

Media Contacts
Nasima Hossain


Washington, D.C. – Statement of Nasima Hossain, U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate, on the recall of the American Licorice Company’s one-pound bags of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists due to high lead content.

“The recent discovery of high lead levels in licorice by the California Department of Public Health shows the importance of having strong public health and consumer protections that protect us – and in particular children – from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals.”

“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. Pregnant women, parents and providers of care for small children should contact their health care provider if they or the children have recently eaten the licorice.Parents should throw the rest of it away and not give this candy to children until further notice.”

“This recall highlights the fact that we need more proactive state programs like the California state program to protect us from harmful substances in all the different types of food we consume.”