OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling that would ban the shops and manufacturers from selling or offering potentially lead-contaminated candy in New Jersey was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee.
The bill (A-2179) would ban “adulterated candy” - any type of candy or candy wrapper that intentionally contains or was made with lead, mercury, or cadmium.
“It’s not healthy for any person to eat food contaminated with these chemicals, but it’s especially dangerous for our kids,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “With Halloween coming up, we need to let families know that we’re looking out for the safety of their children. Once we pass this bill, we’ll be able to make sure that everyone can enjoy Halloween treats without putting their health in danger - so long as they eat in moderation, of course.”
Under the bill, no candy in New Jersey would be allowed to have a total concentration level of lead, mercury, or cadmium exceeding 100 parts per million by weight. Manufacturers would also be required to inform the Department of Health whenever a new candy is created and certify that the candy is in compliance with the bill’s requirements.
A manufacturer that knowingly sells or offers adulterated candy would have to pay a penalty of up to $10,000 for a first offense, and a maximum penalty of $25,000 for each offense thereafter. A distributor knowingly selling these products would have to pay a penalty of up to $1,000 for a first offense, and a maximum penalty of $5,000 for any other offenses.
All penalties collected for violations of this bill would be used to partially cover the cost of compliance, inspections, testing, and enforcement.