Health Minister Ya'akov Litzmann (United Torah Judaism) declared war on licorice candy Sunday, noting that [the Israeli version of] the candy often is filled with white gelatin and coated in sugar - and urging Israelis to steer clear.
"It's just like a car tire, it's hard as a stick," Litzmann was quoted as saying Sunday morning in Israel Hayom. "We try to safeguard children from all sorts of things, and in the end we give them this stuff, which is unhealthy and even harmful to children."
When questioned why Litzmann chose licorice over the hundreds of candies in Israel's booming gummy-bear-and-confection industry, he claimed that licorice in particular "is mostly made of gelatin, natural food coloring, artificial preservatives, sugar, and other flavors, which are harmful to children's dental heath."
"We have to take care of this," he said. "We will look into better kinds of candy than this...we will increase product supervision, and examine what is really unhealthy and harmful."
He added that he wished to increase regulations to force importers to specify, in greater detail, the fat and sugar distribution within licorice candy and specify how much sugar there is in such food.
At press time, Litzmann was not asked if he had, in fact, ever tried a Twinkie.