Source: San Jose Mercury News
Pubdate: Thu, 18 Sep 1997
Contact: It's end of line for `drug' candy

Manufacturer says he'll bow to protests


Mercury News Staff Writer

The manufacturer of a whitepowdered candy sold in test tubes says he will
stop making the candy after being inundated with calls from irate consumers.

``Yeah, I think we'll stop making the white stuff,'' said Steve Corri,
coowner of Eat Me Now foods in Los Angeles, whose phones have been ringing
nonstop with calls from consumers and the media. ``If it's affecting the
world that much, we'll just stop making the stuff.''

But the San Jose grandmother who started the crusade, saying the candy
looks like vials of cocaine and could encourage drug use among children,
said she doesn't believe the company will follow through.

``I don't trust a word he says,'' said Peggy Allred. ``He called us
mentally constipated. I think he's morally corrupt.''

While the company will stop making the white powdered candy, with names
such as Avalanche, White Lie and Cloud Nine, it will continue to make its
multicolored powdered flavors. The candy, called The Crave, is packaged in
surplus medical test tubes.

Some San Jose area stores are removing the candy from shelves.

The Sweet Factory candy store in Valley Fair Shopping Center pulled The
Crave from the shelves Tuesday after a Mercury News story detailed the
concerns of parents, teachers and police.

``Yes, we've stopped selling it,'' said a Sweet Factory representative at
the store. ``And other stores are starting to take it off the shelves, too.''

The Sweet Factory store at Oakridge Mall said it is still carrying the
candy, for now.

Wednesday, Allred met with San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer. The mayor has
directed the city attorney to look into any possible violations of city
ordinances, and what options, if any, the city has under state and federal
law, said Kevin Pursglove, Hammer's spokesman. She has also put the topic
on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting.

``She's quite uncomfortable with these kinds of products on the shelves,''
said Pursglove.

The issue started receiving national attention when Allred and her
daughter, Vicki Woodward of Simi Valley, launched a petition campaign to
get the candy off store shelves after Woodward's 11yearold son came home
with some last month.

Television and radio stations from Philadelphia, Raleigh, N.C., and New
York City have contacted Allred this week to do stories on the candy. The
television tabloid program Hard Copy aired a piece about the candy Monday
in Southern California. And Allred is scheduled to appear live at 7 a.m.
today on the Fox News cable program.

Corri, the outspoken coowner of the company that makes the candy and other
novelty treats, said the media attention is just what he wants. Besides the
multicolored versions of The Crave, he will continue to make drinks with
names like Rat Bastard Root Beer and D.O.A. Cola.

``This is great. The more negative publicity, the better,'' he said. ``You
see, that's how it works. The more society tells kids that something is
bad, the more they want it. This'll just drive demand for the stuff through
the roof. We're making a killing.''

Published Thursday, September 18, 1997, in the San Jose Mercury News