Thursday, September 11, 2008

Licorice, Liquorice, Lickrish... Lead? o_0

I love licorice. Don't all ninja love licorice? I mean real black licorice, made with real licorice root.

Red Vines are not licorice; it's just high fructose corn syrup and chemicals. Don't even try to pass that stuff to me. You'll be sorry.

I subscribe to the FDA recall list RSS (totally worth subscribing, lest you miss the fact that you are eating something that isn't on the label...and might poison you). So I get an update that says this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 5, 2008 -- Lucky Country Inc. of Lincolnton, NC is recalling all of its natural black licorice products from [a large list of states] due to elevated levels of lead.

OK, stop the press! WTF!? o_0

How the hell did lead end up in my licorice... ok, it's not my licorice. I've never even heard of this company. But now I want to find some so I can stock my ninja belt with lead licorice. I'm just imagining the possibilities...

But then I read on:
Recent tests performed by the California Department of Public Health and the Food and Drug Administration showed that Lucky Country Aussie Style Soft Gourmet Licorice Black (All Natural) in 1.5 lb bags contained a lead level exceeding the level permitted in candy....
Huh? o_9

How much freaking lead does the FDA permit in candy?!

Then I find this FDA document:
This guidance provides a recommended maximum lead level of 0.1 ppm in candy likely to be consumed frequently by small children. FDA considers the recommended maximum lead level to be achievable with the use of good manufacturing practices in the production of candy and candy ingredients and to be protective of human health.
So, now I'm wondering if Gourmet Licorice is something the FDA considers likely to be "consumed frequently by small children". Probably not. So how much did they allow in this licorice? Nobody talks.

Either way, I still wonder how even .1 ppm could be allowed in to their narrow classification--it comes from the sucrose, which the FDA permits .5 ppm (500% of the maximum) to be lead. Seems like something is amiss in the sugar making industry.

There's a quest in this for Sleep Deprivation Ninja. And he's packing licorice.


Jenni said...

You might also want to investigate lead levels in spice flavored gum drops, butterscotch disks, and Worther's Originals. Since these candies are consumed exclusively by old people, possibly lead levels are higher? Alzheimer's, anyone?

Run ANC said...

Followed a link from another blog. Yes, I do love licorice, but can I just say that your banner made me laugh out loud. Made my day. I, too, am sleep-deprived.

steenky bee said...

Thank you for being the defender of licorice. When sweets can't stand up for themselves, you do it for them. Although. I'm pretty sure if your licorice has lead in it, it may be able to stand up all by itself.

Mr Lady said...

You should just drink Anise instead. Same flavor, and you get to be all fucked up at the end of it.

Unknown said...

Oh, my pantry is stocked full of Sambucca, Ouzo, Pernod. I even go for the Metaxa and Galliano (not licorice but awesome). Agwa is good too.