22nd December 2023

Warks TS seizes banned US candy

Officers found sweets and soft drinks containing additives that are unauthorised in the UK.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

Officers from Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards have seized American confectionery containing additives that are banned in the UK, and are advising retailers stocking the products to remove them from sale immediately.

The products seized from the shop in Nuneaton included Jolly Rancher and Swedish Fish sweets and Mountain Dew canned drinks. They were found to contain unauthorised additive ingredients including Brominated Vegetable oil (BVO) and E127, Erythrosine (shown on US products as Red 3).

CTSI recently warned that American sweets and fizzy drinks with known links to hyperactivity and cancer in children have flooded the UK.

Some of the products seized (image credit: Warwickshire Trading Standards)

Councillor Andy Crump, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Fire & Rescue and Community Safety, said: “Our Trading Standards Officers will be visiting shops to identify and remove from sale any illegal American candy and drinks they find. Local businesses can assist us by checking their own shelves and removing the illegal products.”

Illegal American imports often fail to show allergen information, as well as containing ingredients that are not authorised in the UK. Additives are only authorised for use in the UK if they have been tested and proved to be safe for  intended use, in that particular type of food or drink; there is a justifiable technological need to use it; and its use does not mislead the consumer.

CTSI Chief Executive John Herriman said: “The UK prides itself on high food standards but this very much relies on Trading Standards ensuring that what is on sale complies with the law. It’s therefore extremely worrying to learn that as we approach Christmas confectionery that we know will appeal to children is on sale in UK high streets, and that it could be linked to hyperactivity in kids, and even cancer. Trading Standards work extremely hard to protect the public by removing dangerous products from sale, but the popularity of these items is being increased by videos on social media platforms, such as TikTok. The increase in demand means importers are sending these through our ports and borders in the millions, and these are then being widely distributed and ending up in retail stores and in the hands of children.

“We ask that all persons placing these products on the market, including the suppliers and retailers, take their responsibilities seriously in this matter and urgently remove items from sale that contain unauthorised ingredients. We also urge parents to be aware. If shop owners are unsure of what items are safe to sell, they should contact their local Trading Standards service for support and advice.”

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