Peep this: union-made candy for spring holidays – National Consumers League

By Michell K. McIntyre, Director of NCL’s Special Project on Wage Theft 

With another candy-centric holiday right around the corner, let’s give a shout-out to union-made candies and remind consumers of the opportunity to support pro-worker efforts (collective bargaining for a fair wage and decent benefits) of unions. Below is an extensive list, complied by the good folks at Union Plus. The lists represents the products produced by the hard-working efforts of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM); the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); and the fruit and nuts from members of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).

Included on the list are Hershey and Nestle – two companies that have recently been in the news regarding accusations of child labor in their supply chains. Hershey has pledged to do better, and Nestle has recently partnered with the Fair Labor Association, an independent third party that will monitor Nestle’s supply chains as they did with Apple’s Chinese manufacturer, Foxconn, and launched an investigation into child labor in their supply chains. With this in mind, consumers should have the knowledge to arm themselves in the candy aisle to make informed and responsible choices.

With all the attacks facing unions, please support the efforts of these hard-working men and women and buy union-made holiday candy.

Just Born

  • Peeps
  • Mike & Ike
  • Hot Tamales
  • Peanut Chews
  • Jelly Beans

Jelly Belly’s Candy Company

  • Jelly Bellies – also made in a non-union plants in Chicago/Taiwan
  • Chocolate Dutch Mints
  • Chocolate Temptations
  • Dimples
  • Goelitz Confections
  • Goelitz Gummi
  • Pet Rat
  • Pet Tarantula
  • Sweet Temptations
  • Candy Corn
  • Licorice
  • Malted Milk Balls
  • Chocolate Coated Nuts, & Sours
  • Sunkist Fruit Gel Slices

Necco (New England Confectionery Company)

  • Sweethearts
  • Mary Jane Peanut Butter Chews
  • NECCO Wafers/Necco Wafer Smoothies
  • Sky Bar
  • Clark Bar
  • Canada Mints
  • Candy Cupboard
  • Thin Mints
  • NECCO Assorted Junior Wafers
  • Clark Junior Laydown Bag
  • Mary Jane Laydown Bag
  • Haviland
  • Mallow Cups
  • Necco Peanut Butter Kisses

Ghiradelli Chocolates

  • All filled & non filled squares
  • Non Pariels
  • Chocolate chips

Gimbals Fine Candies

  • Jelly Beans
  • Cherry Hearts
  • Scotty Dogs
  • Jelly Beans

Hershey Products

  • Hershey Kisses*
  • Hershey Syrups
  • Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar*
  • Hershey Milk with Almond Bars
  • Hershey Special Dark Bars
  • Hershey Nuggets
  • Rolo
  • Hershey Kissables
  • Kit Kat Bars
  • Carmello Bar
  • Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bar
  • Cadbury Roast Almond Bar
  • Cadbury Royal Dark Bar
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Hershey Symphony Bar with Toffee

See’s (all)

American Licorice

  • Black & Red Vines
  • Strawberry Ropes

Sconza Candies

  • Jawbreakers
  • Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • Chocolate


  • Nestle Treasures
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Kathryn Beich specialty candy
  • Baby Ruth*
  • Butterfinger*
  • Pearson’s Nips
  • Famous Old Time Candies (gourmet chocolates)
  • Nestle Crunch Butterfinger Crisp

Pearson’s Candy Co.

  • Salted Nut Roll
  • Nut Goodie
  • Mint Patties
  • Bun Bars

Anabelles Candy Company

  • Boston Baked Beans
  • Jordon Almonds
  • Rocky Road
  • U-Nos
  • Look
  • Big Hunk
  • Abba-Zaba
  • Yogurt Nuts & Fruit

*Some products made in Mexico; check the label for country of origin.

For more information on the above list of union-made candy, please visit Union Plus and if you’d like a mobile version of the Union Plus list sent to your phone, please text CANDY to 22555.

Protesters call foul on new poultry inspection rules – National Consumers League

By Teresa Green, Linda Golodner Food Safety & Nutrition Fellow

On Monday, I joined the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Food & Water Watch (FWW) and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) in front of USDA to protest proposed changes to poultry slaughter.

Currently, USDA inspectors from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) monitor every plant in the United States that slaughters poultry. They inspect slaughtered animals to ensure that only wholesome product is entering commerce. In a few poultry plants, a new model project called the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (or HIMP for short) has changed this model. In HIMP plants, some government inspectors have been replaced with plant employees. The government now proposes to expand this model so that all poultry plants will have the option to participate.

NCL is concerned about several aspects of this proposed rule, which is why we joined Monday’s protest. As part of the proposed changes, plants would be allowed to increase their line speeds to up to 175 birds per minute, or close to three birds per second.

Our first concern is that the new program will negatively impact food safety. With fewer government inspectors on the line, ensuring food safety will be left up to the plant employees. Unfortunately, the proposed rule does not mandate training for these employees. This means that well-trained government inspectors will be replaced with plant employees who may have varying levels of expertise, depending on the level of investment each plant chooses to make. This is not a recipe for uniform, consistent food safety outcomes.

Additionally, NCL is concerned about the impact of increased line speeds on worker safety. We are concerned that with lines moving ever faster, workers may be at increased risk for injury. While the proposed rule includes a study on worker safety, NCL feels that it is important to understand the impact on workers before changes are widely enacted, not after.

It was with these concerns in mind I joined AFGE, CFA, FWW, and GAP to protest the proposed changes. The fact that we were joined by dozens of inspectors speaks to the importance of this issue. We hope that USDA will hear our message and change their approach to updating poultry inspection. In this instance, the proposed changes are extreme and more research is needed on the efficacy of HIMP before we can think about expanding it to all plants.

Danish fat tax won’t fly in the US (but it should!) – National Consumers League

By Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director
According to Consumers Union, Denmark has launched an effort to improve public health with a “fat tax” – it’s $1.50 a pound on food such as bacon, butter, and pastries, that contain more than  2.3 percent saturated fat. Right off the bat, I can tell you this wouldn’t fly in the United States. Consumer and health care advocates couldn’t get any traction on a bill to put a penny tax – a penny! – on sugary drinks. Not only that but the sugar industry waged an expensive campaign to kill the proposal and succeeded. They made it about “freedom,” a brilliant PR strategy that worked. So $1.50 a pound on fat ain’t happening anytime soon in the United States.
That said, this Danish tax has its good points. Fats – even healthy ones –  add a lot of calories per gram compared to carbohydrates and proteins – 9 grams vs 4 respectively, and with 2/3 of Americans being overweight or obese, nothing raises awareness like raising the price on unhealthy foods.
Some fats are good for you, but saturated fat isn’t among them. It’s unhealthy because it encourages the body to produce more cholesterol. In contrast, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in foods such as salmon and trout, nuts, avocados and vegetable oils can actually cut heart disease. The Danes are not for taxing those fats.
Time will tell if this Danish tax on saturated fats will help to reduce the intake of unhealthy fatty  foods. Even if it’s a nonstarter in the United States, creative ideas like what the Danes are implementing deserve serious consideration.