Tootsie Roll Industries is staring down potential class action litigation that alleges its ubiquitous Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pop products contain partially hydrogenated oil (PHO), an unsafe and unapproved food additive.
According to the complaint, PHO is the byproduct of the manufacture of trans fat. While initially considered a wonder product upon its creation at the turn of the 20thcentury, PHO has long been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other life-altering ailments, the case says. The FDA in 2015 “formally declared PHO to be unsafe for use in food,” the suit adds.
At its core, the complaint decries Tootsie Roll Industries for failing to remove PHO from its products despite possessing awareness since 2015 that the substance was officially unsafe to use as a food additive.