Consumers might want to check their children’s candies this Halloween following an alert from Canada about melamine-tainted chocolates from China.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert for some candy and foods made in China and says it is taking aggressive action to inspect food, candy and other imports from China. (see list below)
However, this past summer FDA inspectors had little luck in tracking down the source of salmonella and E. coli contaminations due to a shortage of inspectors.
Some candy made by Chinese makers and distributed through Costco in Canada has been found to contain melamine, among them, Sherwood’s Milk Chocolate Pirate’s Gold Coins made in China.
On October 8, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, CFIA issued a warning for “The public not to consume, distribute, or sell the Sherwood Brands Pirate’s Gold Milk Chocolate Coins described below. This product is being recalled due to positive test results for melamine conducted by the CFIA.”
In fact, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a warning about the chocolate coins, “sold in 840g containers containing 240 pieces per container bearing UPC 0 36077 11240 7 and lot code 1928S1.”
“This product is sold nationally through Costco stores and may also have been sold in bulk packages or as individual pieces at various dollar and bulk stores across Canada.”
Sherwood Brands, based in Rockville, Maryland, also makes lollipops, bubble gum and other confections made in China which say “may contain milk”. The company has not returned media calls.
Not recalling the Sherwood candy has angered Food & Water Watch. The nonprofit group lobbyist, Tony Corbo told the Akron Beacon Journal, “We don’t think the FDA has acted quickly enough.”
The National Confectioners Association reports that less than one percent of candies sold in the U.S. are imported from China.
Naturally, candy makers in the U.S. are nervous and many have posted reassuring statements. Hershey’s says the company has “never purchased any milk ingredients from China” in a recorded message.
Mars says it has tested its Snickers and M&M’s in Indonesia and found them free of melamine.
The FDA says it has broadened its domestic and import sampling and testing of milk-derived ingredients and finished foods with milk from Chinese sources.
The FDA “has recommended that consumers not consume certain products because of possible contamination with melamine.” See the list below.
Thousands of Chinese children have been injured from the industrial chemical, melamine, which was folded into milk that makes baby formula to artificially inflate the protein count. Chronic exposure can lead to kidney failure, reproductive damage, bladder or kidney stones.
In the U.S., there is no known threat to infant formula since the U.S. does not import formula from China.
The exception might be among members of the Asian communities in the U.S. even though the FDA says no Chinese manufacturer of infant formula has met the requirements to sell in the U.S.
Melamine has been found not just in milk powder, but also in pet food which led to the deaths of hundreds of U.S. animals.
On the internet, Mike Mozart, calls himself a product designer who reviews development in the toy industry. He says as much as 20 million pounds of food manufactured in China were imported into the U.S. this year. He claims he's found candy manufactured in China with milk powder widely being sold in US stores and has produced a
(When in doubt of internet rumors check out the web site snopes.com and truthorfiction.com.)
The FDA is advising consumers not to consume the following products because of possible melamine contamination:
- Koala’s March Crème filled Cookies
- YILI Brand Sour Milk Drink
- YILI Brand Pure Milk Drink
- Blue Cat Flavored Drinks
- White Rabbit Candies
- Mr. Brown Mandehling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
- Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
- Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
- Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
- Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
- Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)
- Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)
- Infant formula manufactured in China