Candy with Lead Found in D.C

Article excerpt

Byline: Tarron Lively, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

City health officials are warning parents and merchants about lead-tainted candy popular with Hispanic children that was found this week in an Adams Morgan store.

"The [city's] Department of Health will not tolerate shelves that are stocked with lead-laced candy available for sale to children," Dr. Gregory Pane, the agency's director, said yesterday. "I am pleased to work with the community and the manufacturer to take every step possible to ensure these dangerous products no longer make their way into small hands as treats or snacks."

Dr. Pane said the candy is really seasonings imported from Mexico that children pour down their throat in a ritual known as "waterfalling."

The seasonings are packaged in shakers and several of them - Lucas Limon, Super Lucas, Lucas Acidito and Lucas Limon con Chili - are made by Lucas candies, a subsidiary of candy maker Mars Inc.

The product was withdrawn from the market last year. Officials learned that it was still in the District on Wednesday after a congressional staffer spotted some in an Adams Morgan store. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Jan Schakowsky, all Democrats, then contacted city officials.

Dr. Pane said that the seasoning has not turned up elsewhere in the District and that the health department is working with federal agencies on joint investigations and inspections.

"We'll continue to do this until we are satisfied there is no more Lucas Limon in the District," he said.

Dr. Pane also said that so far, there have been no reports of illnesses related to the consumption of the candy, which sells for 39 cents per package and has four to six times the amount of lead considered safe for children to consume. …