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Anneli Rufus

Anneli Rufus

FDA: Toxic Waste® Gum Is Toxic

Posted: 03/28/11 01:49 AM ET
Food News

A type of bubblegum sold under the name Toxic Waste® Short Circuits™ is now being recalled by its distributor because it's ... well, toxic.

Recent tests performed by the FDA found that Toxic Waste® Short Circuits™ -- which is made in Pakistan -- contained unsafe levels of lead.

Ironically, Indianapolis-based Circle City Marketing and Distributing promotes its products via the buzzphrase "Hazardously Sour Candy." The company's website features videos with such titles as "Toxically Wasted" and "Black Cherry Holocaust: A Toxic Waste Adventure." (Then again, the Circle City site also offers Earth Day tips as part of its "Toxic Takedown challenge": Compost. Recycle. Stop global warming.)

It was announced last week that the FDA-tested gum contained 0.189 parts of lead per million; the FDA's limit is 0.1 parts per million. The amount of lead discovered in the gum "could cause health problems, particularly for infants, small children, and pregnant women," reads the FDA's announcement.

Hazardous!

As a result, Circle City is issuing a voluntary recall of Lot #15070SC12 of the 3.2 oz. (90 g) size of Toxic Waste® Short Circuits™, which was distributed from January 4 until March 18.

How ironic is this for a company that markets a whole range of "Toxic Waste" sweets? As the website proudly declares: "Each collectible container is shaped like an over-flowing drum of Toxic Waste." The vivid yellow cans have printed green slime dripping down the sides, and the words "TOXIC WASTE" in a stencil motif -- just like in real life!

Circle City's promo for Toxic Waste® Short Circuits™ Bubble Gum promises that the gum "is sure to make sour candy and gum lovers pucker with delight. Presented in bite size gum fashion filled with ultra sour powder, kids will be struck by the intense souricity when they reach the shockingly sour core."

I feel bad that they had to do a recall, because they're a Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Green Business and, in this economy, who can afford recalls? But... lead. I also hate seeing bad grammar on food packaging. Not only are the necessary hyphens between "bite" and "size" and between "ultra" and "sour" missing, but that second sentence reads as if kids are presented in bite-size gum fashion. And because hyphens are also missing from the first sentence, it basically implies that the candy and gum lovers are sour, not the candy and the gum. This makes my eyes hurt.

The FDA reassures us that "no other 'Toxic Waste®' brand product or 'Short Circuits™ Bubble Gum' besides Lot #15070SC12 is affected by this recall." So if you bought your Toxic Waste before January 4, you're safe -- from lead, if not from souricity.