[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
European ban for jelly sweets
jelly sweets
The jelly sweets come in plastic cups
Jelly mini-cup sweets have been banned by the European Commission because of a risk of children choking.

The sweets are packaged in plastic cups and designed to be swallowed in one.

The commission said they were a risk because of their "consistency, shape and form" and that warnings alone were not enough to protect children.

Opponents said the ban was disproportionate and there was no evidence of a danger to children's health.

The jelly sweets contain additives derived from seaweed or certain gums.

They are individual, mouth-sized servings and may contain a small piece of preserved fruit, including apple and mango.

Safety labelling on these products is not enough to protect children's health
David Byrne, European Commission
They are designed to be projected into the mouth by exerting pressure on the semi-rigid container and then eaten in one single bite.

The plastic cup is approximately the size of a single-service coffee creamer.

Manufacturers and importers will have to recall all jelly mini-cups which contain these additives.


The UK's Food Standards Agency and the Department of Trade and Industry have previously said a type of the sweets containing an additive called konjac should be removed from sale.

They are now implementing the full ban.

Local authorities have powers to take action against retailers who do not remove them voluntarily.

David Byrne, health and consumer protection commissioner, said: "Safety labelling on these products is not enough to protect children's health.

"Removing these products from shop shelves will provide the extra protection needed in all EU countries while we, together with the European Food Safety Authority, evaluate whether or not we might need to amend the legislation authorising the use of additives in jelly mini-cups."

However, Tory MEP John Bowis, Conservative health spokesman in the European Parliament, said: "This decision by the commission is completely over the top and disproportionate.

"There is no conclusive proof that these sweets are a risk to children. We have already called on the commission to wait for research results from the European Food Standards Agency before any such ban is implemented."

Sweets linked to child's death
07 Mar 02  |  Health
Warning over 'killer sweets'
14 Dec 01  |  Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific