Halloween is the traditional time of year for kids (and many adults) to overindulge in loads of sugar-loaded candy. The famous "treat" part of "trick and treat" has been popular in the U.S. since the end of World War II, when finally sugar shortages were over and candy makers were pumping out the popular products as Halloween candy to increase sales.
However, there are certain brands and types of Halloween candy that won't be on the shelves this year, and some were banned quite some time ago. How many of these candy treats do you remember from childhood?
First, let's have a look at the treat pictured above, with the charming name of Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Chew Bars. Supposedly created in a secret lab by Professor Sauernoggin, the colorful and totally appropriate Halloween treat was pulled from the shelves back in 2011. This was when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration established that the tasty, sour treat contained elevated levels of lead (0.24 parts per million; the U.S. FDA tolerance is 0.1 ppm). The FDA said the candy could "potentially could cause health problems, particularly for infants, small children, and pregnant women."
The company, Candy Dynamics, had imported the product from Pakistan where, let's face it, health concerns are not addressed as well as they could be. While no actual health problems were reported from consuming the Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Cherry Chew Bar, the manufacturer withdrew it from sale "out of an abundance of caution."
Rather ironically, the label has a green stamp saying clearly that "Toxic Waste Candy Sponsors a Cleaner Planet." However, it should be noted that the FDA did say that no other Toxic Waste Candy was affected by the recall, only the cherry and other flavors of the "nuclear waste" chew bars.
If any reader had the experience of eating the super-sour cherry flavored treat, please let us know in the comments section below.
In these days of action against smokers, with smoking bans cropping up all over the world, the next sweet treat was sort of an obvious item to ban, at Halloween or any other time of year, but many folks will remember them well.
Many kids thoroughly enjoyed acting like grown-ups, puffing away on their candy cigarettes, especially as part of their Halloween candy. The sweet treat was still on the shelves right up until around 2009, when the FDA got it into its collective head to ban flavored cigarettes.
The main reason for this ban was a study run in 2007 in Preventive Medicine, which clearly indicated a link between the candy cigarettes and smoking the real deal. According to the study, 22 percent of people who currently smoked had previously consumed candy cigarettes when they were children. On the other hand, 14 percent of those polled who didn't smoke had never indulged in the sweet treat.
It was probably a no-brainer to say that the "continued existence of these products helps promote smoking as a culturally or socially acceptable activity."
Last, but not least, is a treat which any kid would thoroughly love, whether as Halloween candy or any kind of birthday treat. This one isn't really dangerous to health, except, of course, for the sugar overload experience, and it was definitely banned by a spoilsport.
There's nothing like a surprise to keep a kid excited and happy and the Nestlé Magic Ball was just that. You ripped off the packaging, bit into the tasty chocolate, and inside was, as advertised, a ball containing a surprise toy. Ranging from superheroes to popular Disney and Pokemon characters, the kids loved these treats during the 1990s, and they were a popular Halloween candy gift for quite some time.
According to Atlas Obscura, back in 1938, President Franklin (spoilsport) Roosevelt signed the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act into law. Under that law, it was said that a piece of confectionery will be deemed illegal if it is "adulterated" or "has partially or completely embedded therein any non-nutritive object." As the plastic toy contained in the Nestlé Magic Ball was definitely a non-nutritive commodity, this made the treat illegal more than 50 years before it was even born.
Since then, in 1997 to be exact, consumer groups, largely subsidized by Nestlé's competitors, spoke up, saying the plastic toys were choking hazards, and finally the FDA stepped in, making the candy treat illegal. The Nestlé Magic Balls were removed from the shelves in October 1997.
Having found out about some tasty Halloween candy that you definitely won't be getting this year, stay safe and have fun on your "trick or treat" rounds of the neighborhood.