An elderly man from New York City thinks black licorice Twizzlers gave him heart problems, so he’s suing the Hershey Company via the Manhattan Supreme Court. According to a lawsuit obtained by the New York Post, David Goldberg is a “healthy individual who is not obese” and “has never had any heart conditions,” but now he’s living with atrial fibrillation, an irregular and rapid heart rate that can increase risk of stroke, heart failure and other complications.
On the day before Halloween in 2017, the Food and Drug Administration cautioned adults 40 and over not to binge on black licorice, noting that 2 ounces per day over a two-week period could lead to heart issues spurred by glycyrrhizin, a naturally occurring compound found in licorice root. Doctors also warned of the candy’s potential hazards in 2015 after it triggered a fit of violent seizures in a young Italian boy.
Goldberg must not have seen the warning, because according to the suit, the 73-year-old admitted to “consuming at least one standard size bag per week” of black licorice Twizzlers for “years.” In 2017, the he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. He has since stopped eating the treat and is now on medication, but it’s reported that his condition has not improved.
“[Hershey] knew for years that its black licorice candy posed a health threat” but didn’t disclose that to consumers, Goldberg claims. But at least one medical provider (who is not involved in Goldberg’s case) doesn’t agree that Twizzlers are to blame.
“The ingredients are listed on the package so that consumers are aware of what they are putting into their bodies,” Emily Clark, a registered nurse at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, told Today. “It's our responsibility to research those ingredients, educate ourselves and understand healthy food choices.”
“One food choice doesn't cause heart disease,” Clark added. “It would take a string of poor consumption choices and possibly genetics, along with a handful of other factors about this man's lifestyle.”
The Daily Meal has reached out to the Hershey Company for comment.
Regardless of which candy you’re eating, you probably shouldn’t eat a great amount each week for years at a time, because that’s unquestionably unhealthy anyway. Perhaps you should eat some fresh produce instead! Steer clear of scary ailments with these 15 fruits and vegetables that are least likely to poison you.