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FDA Sounds Alarm About Cereal and Candy Edibles that Appeal to Children

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), once again advised people not to give their edibles to kids.

On May 13, the FDA issued a warning, sounding the alarm about lookalike products that mimic candy and more recently—children’s cereal.

Copycat products that were highlighted in the warning mimic Cap’n Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Nerds Ropes, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, and Trix, among others.

Gray area cannabis products should not be supported. The first is their potential appeal for children. The second concern the ethical violation that blatantly steals intellectual property from mainstream food businesses. The FDA was more concerned with the potential physical effects that might occur in children.

“The FDA is aware of multiple media reports describing children and adults who accidentally consumed copycat edible products containing THC and experienced adverse events,” the organization wrote. “Additionally, from January 2021 through April 24, 2022, the FDA received over 100 adverse event reports related to children and adults who consumed edible products containing THC.”

Symptoms to look out for include “hallucinations” and “vomiting.”

“Some individuals who ate these edible products reportedly experienced adverse events such as hallucinations, increased heart rate and vomiting, and many required medical intervention or hospital admission,” the warning continues. “Seven of the reports specifically mention the edible product to be a copycat of popular foods, such as Cocoa Pebbles, Nerds Rope, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, and Starburst.”

The Truth About Dangerous Myths

Both CBD and THC show promise in pediatrics for mental and physical conditions in controlled doses, such as intractable epilepsy, but children’s small bodies usually can’t withstand THC like an adult. If a small child (or pet) consumes them by accident, it can quickly become “a situation.” All adults carry the responsibility of keeping their edibles out of reach, and most do.

Sometimes, however, the warnings are made less credible by hysteria. For children and adults, a “whiteout” can be a scary experience, but “overdoses solely by marijuana are unlikely,” even the CDC admits. We get our annual Halloween warning, which includes a mention of alleged cannabis-infused candy that is being distributed to children. However, these stories can sometimes be debunked.

Three recommendations were made by the FDA in case a child eats an edible.

  • If you have experienced serious side effects, call 9-1-1 immediately or go to an emergency room. Keep these products out of reach from children.
  • Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 if your child has been exposed to these substances. Don’t wait until you feel the symptoms.
  • If you are concerned about your health, or if someone you care for has recently consumed these products, contact your doctor.

Three ways can you file a complaint with the FDA. This is a stark warning for people who have nosy neighbours, live in fear of being ripped off and call Child Protective Services. It’s unclear if the complaint avenues are intended for parents themselves or others.

“Health care professionals, patients and consumers are encouraged to report complaints and cases of exposure and adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program,” the warning reads.

In fact, last year over 100 individuals dialed in.

The problem with copycat edibles is not just for children.

It turns out that mainstream food companies want the exact same thing but for different reasons. An assortment of major food companies called upon Congress on April 27th to clamp down on growing numbers of THC-infused copycat knockoffs.

“Children are increasingly threatened by the unscrupulous use of famous brand logos, characters, trademarks, and trade dress on THC-laced edible products. While cannabis (and incidental amounts of THC) may be legal in some states, the use of these famous marks, clearly without approval of the brand owners, on food products has created serious health and safety risks for consumers, particularly children, who cannot tell the difference between these brands’ true products and copycat THC products that leverage the brand’s fame for profit,” the companies wrote in the letter.

It is important for parents of small children or teens to ensure that children are not able to eat their food.