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Mexican candy is recalled after lead found in it


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There ARE some things that Should just be made in America.




Web Posted: 12/04/2007 07:18 PM CST


Adolfo Pesquera

Express-News business writer


A San Antonio-based Mexican candy distributor Tuesday voluntarily started recalling a liquid candy after testing by the Texas Department of State Health Services found elevated lead levels in it.

Villa-Mex Imports Inc. is recalling Barrilito, a heavy syrup offered in several fruit flavors that is sold in a 3.3-ounce glass barrel-shaped jar with a white plastic lid. A yellow label displays the name Barrilito in red outline letters.


Health Services advised Villa-Mex Imports — the only known distributor of the candy in Texas — of its results Monday, said Emily Palmer, a Health Services spokeswoman. The candy is distributed to groceries and convenience stores throughout Texas, she said.


"It is called candy, but it is a dark syrup-like product that is usually eaten with a spoon," Palmer said.


In August, the California Department of Health Services also requested a recall in that state of the same product after testing found elevated lead levels. Lead amounts more than 0.1 parts per million are considered a health hazard by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Samples in Texas had lead levels up to 0.132 parts per million, and in California they were 0.15 parts per million. Lead consumed by infants, children and pregnant women can delay mental and physical development and lead to learning deficiencies.


Texas' Health Services said the problem was with the product, not with the distributor. Labels identify the manufacturer as "Productos Avila, S.A. de C.V. Puerto Malaque 1379 Col. Sta. Maria Guadalajara, Jal. Mexico."Sergio Villarreal, the person identified by a Villa-Mex employee as the owner, was not available Tuesday, and the employee refused to comment on the recall.


During the past several years, there have been numerous recalls of Mexican-made candies. Testing by California's Health Services led to recalls in 2004 and 2005 of candies made by a Mars Inc. subsidiary and other manufacturers. Brands taken off the market then included Lucas Limon, Dulmex Rollito de Tamarindo and Tama Roca Banderilla.

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