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    Illegal American candies seized from Staffordshire shop

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    A day after authorities warned retailers against selling banned American candies and soft drinks, Trading Standards recently seized more than 3,300 products in Staffordshire as part of a two-week operation.

    They contained potentially harmful ingredients that are banned in the UK. Shops have been warned they could face court action if they are found selling illegal sweets imported from America.

    Tony Shore, from Staffordshire Trading Standards, told BBC Radio Stoke that children could be particularly vulnerable.

    He said many stores could be unaware that what they were selling was illegal, in which case they would be given a warning.

    “If we find people selling these products deliberately, knowing that they’re illegal, then we’ll take action and that can result in court action.”

    The confiscated products had a street value of more than £8,000. They included imported American versions of Mountain Dew, Dubble Bubble, Jolly Rancher, Hot Tamales and Swedish Fish. They contained ingredients such as mineral oil, bleached flour or colourants that, while legal in the United States, are banned in the UK.

    Shore said Trading Standards was working on disrupting the routes through which the products came to the UK. As well as being sold in both national and local convenience stores, they have also been purchased through social media. Asked how people could identify products that were potentially illegal, he said to look out for Americanised spellings or measurements.

    These include “color” instead of “colour” and the use of ounces instead of grams.

    Shore said Trading Standards relied on public information.

    “If you contact us then we can take the necessary steps to get [items] removed from sale and make sure these products aren’t sold to children,” he added.

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