What you need to know about cotton candy and other products that contain it

Caught in the crossfire between the cotton candy industry and the FDA, a California judge has temporarily blocked the sale of cotton candy flavouring and cotton roll products that use the synthetic compound. 

The ban, which came as a result of a lawsuit brought by California consumers who say their cotton candy is being made with a dangerous substance, is the latest in a long line of actions taken by the FDA to stem the rise of synthetic-farming cotton candy.

In December, the agency announced plans to phase out the production of artificial fertilizers and pesticides that are often implicated in the growth of botulism outbreaks.

And in March, it announced a new ban on synthetic fertilizer in the US. 

But in June, the FDA began allowing imports of cotton seed oil and cotton candy fluff, which is often marketed as “natural cotton candy” and contains the synthetic cottonseed oil. 

While the cottonseed fluff is technically a natural product, the fluff contains a chemical called acrylates of nitrogen (ACN) that is known to be a neurotoxin that is responsible for the paralysis and death of rats exposed to the chemicals.

The FDA’s decision was based on the fact that cottonseed is a staple crop in the United States, where cotton is grown and used to make clothing, paper, paperboard, and other things. 

And the FDA has been working to phase-out synthetic fertilizers since 2014.

In August, the company announced a settlement with consumers who were concerned that cotton seedoil might contain synthetic fertilizer and pesticides.

The settlement also included the sale and labeling of the cotton seed product, which has since been phased out.

The new ruling from Judge Michael Paez says that the cotton-seed fluffs should be exempt from the ban because of the presence of the ACN. 

“The cottonseed, cotton candy, and cotton ball fluff sold in this market do not contain synthetic chemicals that would have the potential to cause poisoning or injury to human or animal health,” Judge Paez wrote in his ruling. 

Judge Paez said that the ban on cotton candy was “just a temporary stopgap measure” while the FDA made changes to its regulations. 

He also said that cotton candy can still be sold in California under certain circumstances, including through the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture (DFSA), which administers California’s food safety laws. 

However, the ruling will likely make it more difficult for consumers to buy the cotton roll and cotton candies from the same chain, which will be harder to track down. 

For consumers in California, it’s unclear whether cotton candy will still be available in grocery stores or grocery stores will still sell them.

A spokesperson for the company told Ars that cotton candying and cotton fluff are both sold by the same supplier, and that the company is working with regulators to ensure they can continue to sell their products. 

According to the WSJ, cottonseedfluff.com is currently offering a limited amount of the fluffs at $1.49 a pound, which would make it cheaper than cotton candy at the same price point. 

If you’re still shopping for cotton candy products, you can check with your local grocery store to see if they carry the cotton candied cotton roll. 

(Photo credit: Flickr/Hansi Wu)