Last month we learned that Kinder Surprise eggs are considered contraband in the USA. Their illegality is based on an ancient FDA rule — part of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act — which prohibits embedding “non-nutritive items” in confections.
Weird! The gatekeepers take it seriously too:
“Last fiscal year 2011, CBP [Customs and Border Protection] seized more than 60,000 Kinder Eggs from travelers’ baggage and from international mail shipments. This was more than twice the number seized in fiscal year 2010,” said the CPB.
So weird, right? And even weirder, today when I was picking up a few things in a Brooklyn grocery store, I spotted these:
According to their web site, Choco Treasures are legal because the toys are bigger, thoroughly tested and their containing capsule is bigger (presumably than the Kinder Surprise — they don’t come right out and identify the “other” by name).
What’s odd to me is how these claims get around the FDA rule which doesn’t say anything about bigger or better-tested toys. In fact, in 2012 the FDA re-issued their import alert stating, “the imbedded non-nutritive objects in these confectionery products may pose a public health risk as the consumer may unknowingly choke on the object.”
So what’s really going on here and why doesn’t Ferrero, maker of the Kinder Surprise eggs, work with the FDA too?
Something’s not adding up.