Licorice Addict Sues German Confectioner | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 16.04.2004
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Licorice Addict Sues German Confectioner

German candy manufacturer Haribo has been sued by a woman who blames her addiction to licorice and consequent heart problems on the confectioner, according to a Berlin court announcement. The 48-year-old plaintiff from Berlin is asking for €6,000 ($7,148) in damages from Haribo because she developed heart problems after consuming 400 grams (14 ounces) of the chewy candy every day for four months. She collapsed after her last binge and said she was unable to work for several months. The unnamed woman claims that Haribo failed to warn of the potentially negative effects of excessive consumption of licorice, and in particular glycyrrhizin, an active compound in licorice root. But the company denied any responsibility, saying there is no relationship between its product and the woman's condition and that it had no legal obligation to list glycyrrhizin among the ingredients of the candy because it contained only a small amount of the compound, between 0.08 and 0.18 percent of the total ingredients. Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has stated that products that contain more than 0.2 percent glycyrrhizin can induce side effects in people who eat more than 50 grams of them per day.