Road Kill Candy No Laughing Matter for Animal Rights Activists

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - An animal's unfortunate run-in with a vehicle is nothing to joke about, according to an animal rights group that is asking a candy manufacturer to pull the candy known as "Road Kill Gummies" from store shelves.

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is criticizing Kraft Foods, the maker of Trolli brand gummy snacks, for the candies that depict dead animals - a snake, a chicken and a squirrel - complete with tire tracks.

"This teaches a wrong lesson to children," said Matthew Stanton, a spokesman for the NJSPCA. He said the Road Kill Gummies are different from other similar candies because they represent "an animal that's dead, that's been on the road.

"We're not fighting against Gummi Bears or Gummi Worms," Stanton explained, "because some people in some cultures actually eat those and find them to be something that they enjoy. But this actually has an animal that has tire marks over their body."

Stanton said the group sent a letter to Kraft Foods CEO Roger Deromedi, asking that the company stop selling the candies after an NJSPCA member complained about seeing the product on display. According to Stanton, an animated advertisement for the candies was removed from the company's website as a result of the letter.

The website still lists Road Kill Gummies as a Trolli brand product, but does not use a photograph of the product or feature an animation with the candy.

Stanton said his group would ultimately like to see the Road Kill gummies removed from shelves, but said the NJSPCA would give the company time to formulate a full response. "We've been talking to some folks about maybe some petitions, maybe some letter writing campaigns, possibly some boycotts," he said, "but we're going to wait to see what the company does."

Some Internet sites have posted information on the product and contact information for activists to complain to Kraft. An operator at the Kraft consumer hotline said she had received one call from a person who was upset about the candies, but said she didn't know how many other complaints had been filed.

"We think it is a big deal," Stanton explained, addressing critics who say that complaining about Road Kill candy is "insignificant [and] petty," as one comment on the Portland Indymedia website characterized it. Stanton said the issue "shouldn't be one of the lead items on the news network every day but we had an opinion about this particular manufactured product and we expressed that opinion."

Representatives from Kraft Foods did not return calls requesting comment for this article.

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