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THE NATION

FDA Warns of Lead in Candies

April 10, 2004|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Friday against letting children eat certain imported Mexican candies because of possible lead contamination.

An FDA statement said candies containing chile powder and tamarind were at risk for lead contamination. Examples of chile-containing products included lollipops coated with chile and powdery mixtures of salt, lemon flavor and chile seasoning, sold as a snack item.

The FDA said candies containing the tamarind fruit, a popular Mexican item, could become contaminated if sold in poorly made glazed ceramic vessels that release lead.

The FDA said that "it would be prudent to not allow children to eat these products at this time." Lead can cause permanent brain damage to infants and children and harm adults who ingest high levels of it. The FDA said it would work with the Mexican government and industry to resolve the problem.

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