Contaminated children's treats are showing up in candy stores in the southern part of the United States, and unfortunately, these Mexican candies contain lead, an ingredient that has been associated with a number of health problems in children. Lead paint was banned decades ago, and lead is not allowed to be used in foods manufactured in the United States. However, these candies from Mexico are perfectly legal to have on the shelves, even though they contain high levels of lead, because the lead is found in a spice ingredient.
The candies are being sold as Lucas Lemon and Super Lucas candies, manufactured by the Mexican division of Mars Candies. Unfortunately, the Department of Health Services cannot force these candies to be taken off the shelves, which means children are continuing to buy them and consume them, and presumably suffer from lead poisoning.
So what's standing in the way of protecting the public health by removing lead-containing foods from food shelves? Well, of course it's the food industry with their food politics. Lawmakers have been pushing for legislation that would give health inspectors the power to remove these foods from the shelves, but every time such bills have been introduced, the food industry has killed the bills.
Food politics is, of course, a major influencing factor when it comes to foods and food ingredients. Finding lead in Mexican candies is really just the tip of the iceberg here. There are disease-promoting, highly toxic ingredients found in many foods that are legally sold all over the United States, and they aren't just foods from Mexico, either. They're foods manufactured right here at home in the United States by American companies, including many Fortune 500 firms.
Such ingredients are called metabolic disruptors, and they promote diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and neurological disorders through various toxic effects. Such ingredients include sodium nitrite, hydrogenated oils, homogenized milkfats, aspartame, MSG, artificial food colorings, and even innocent-sounding ingredients such as refined white sugar. These ingredients interfere with normal, healthy, human metabolism, and in doing so they hamper the body's ability to fight disease and heal itself, thereby promoting chronic disease.
Sadly, the news today is focused only on lead found in Mexican candies, but the bigger story here is that the American food supply is absolutely loaded with disease-causing ingredients that should be immediately banned and disallowed in the food supply from here forward. Of course, that would require action on the part of the FDA or the USDA, neither of which seem very motivated to protect the public health. Both agencies seem to be far more interested in answering to the political call of special interest groups that represent food and beverage manufacturers.
The bottom line to all of this is that most food companies are merely in business to generate a profit. They will sell anything, even if it promotes disease, as long as it's perfectly legal and people keep buying it. There is very little concern for public safety or public health at large food and beverage manufacturing companies -- their primary concerns are profits for themselves and shareholders. Consumers be damned.