It's a cutesy brand of sweet marked with the tagline "kids and grown-ups love it so". But the happy world of Haribo has suddenly clouded over after tiny ursine squishy figures of the sugar-free variety reportedly caused "gastric exorcism" in dozens of Amazon reviewers. More than 100 people wrote graphic descriptions of the …
Uh... You do know "Haribo City" is Bonn, Germany, right?
Not dissing the sentiment in and of itself, but I don't think we're gonna win the next one.
...OH GOD, is this in fact their opening salvo? (Poor choice of words)
Get learning them words now, kids:
"Haribo macht Kinder froh / und Erwachsene ebenso!"
Maybe brought on by yanks poor diet? Haven't heard of this in europe or germany... and loooking at the amount of bears I can see why these people were watching the sport and not playing.
Amazing that the bag is full to bursting with sweets... here in germany half the bag woud be air, which manufacturers claim is caused by "settling"... yanks don't seem to think they need to pack sweets in a "protective environment", why do we... that is the more important question here!
"More than 100 people wrote graphic descriptions of the carnage they claim was caused to them by way of their consumption of the sugarless Haribo gummy bears. The reviews were tacked on to a product page for the catering-sized bag - a bulging 5 pound (2.2kg) plastic-coated wad which contains approximately 1,080 bears"
Didn't any of these whinging gluttons think that eating 1,080 gummy bears at a sitting might, just possibly, be considered "eating to excess"? Or don't they recognize the concept of "over-indulgence"?
Who said that the, er... "effect" required eating the whole bag?
The top-listed review (by Christine E. Torok) on the Amazon page linked in the article (via "carnage") states "Not long after eating about *20* [my emphasis] of these all hell broke loose."
I doubt 20 would be considered "eating to excess" by many people.
You don't have to eat that much of this hellish sweetner to get some incredible effects.
When I found sugar free oreos once I thought it was too good to be true - it was - I ate 5 of them - 5 small cookies, at around 9pm. Couldn't get to sleep until after 3am as I was having to explode into the toilet every few minutes.
Of course eating 2x these bags at a go would be bad for you. I only ate one. I kept the other one for tomorrow.
Seriously, packing them in catering size bags was silly. Anyone buying these is going to be of the mindset that 1 bag == one serving. 5lb of laxatives is not a good idea.
I didn't know that Amazon allowed for comments like that
A colleague used to work at Amazon, and part of his job was dealing with the user reviews. Initially the policy was to remove joke reviews, but Amazon eventually cottoned on that the good ones drove more traffic to the site so they tend to leave them be (see the reviews of Jordan and Peter Andre's CD for example, or the classic review of The Story of Ping which is quite possibly the grand daddy of funny Amazon reviews).
" Initially the policy was to remove joke reviews, but Amazon eventually cottoned on that the good ones drove more traffic to the site"
May I recommend: "Penetrating Wagner's Ring"
Many of the best reviews did get purged some time ago, but it's good to see them re-emerging.
"I didn't know that Amazon allowed for comments like that,"
Khaptain, m'man, you obviously lead a sheltered life. Get thee to the Amazon reviews for Sony's 84" UHD TV. Others have already pointed out the three doggies tee-shirt reviews. And you could go over to Best Buy and look up the reviews for the (drumroll, please) $1000+ (no, that is not a typo...) HDMI cable. (I'm serious, there really is a HMDI cable which costs more that $1000. But the reviews aren't... I kinda wonder how many were actually sold or if everyone just points and laughs. I do know that the local Worst Buy has some $500+ HDMI cables, and they've actually sold some.)
My young son loves haribo gummy bears, and has been having strong stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea after eating about 20 of them, from a package we bought around Christmas time. I am not sure it was the sugar free version, as we put them in a box and threw away the package. But there seems to be a cause-effect connection here.
Cause-effect? You or your son clearly lack a scientific approach to claim cause-effect. It could just as well be rotavirus at random work. Once he is better again, you should feed him another 20 from the same box. If nothing happens, it wasn't the gummy bears. If he gets the same symptoms again, you wait until he's fine again and then feed him another 20 from a new package since the opened ones could be contaminated with something else. If he develops no symptoms, it's probably not the gummy bears. If he's sick again, wait until he's fine and repeat. A few times. Just to be sure. For the sake of science.
"Excessive consumption may cause laxative effect in sensitive individuals."
That warning must appear on all American products containing Maltitol for a damn good reason.
If your body is sensitive to Maltitol then "excessive consumption" may be as little as "any at all" much less a single serving.
And the effects can be quite gruesome, painfull, disgusting, debilitating, depressing, & amusing to anyone listening outside the lavatory door...
Right up until the smell slaps them in the face & ignites their flesh.
Various confectionaries in the States use it as a sugar replacement, essentially making them entirely off limits to anyone whom can't handle the effects of Maltitol.
Haribo's products in Europe use actual sugar, & their sugar free products tend to use other ingredients than Maltitol.
But the stuff they produce for Americans as "normal" (with sugar) uses processed sugar, & the "sugar free" uses stuff like Maltitol.
As someone whom is unable to eat that substance, I can attest from first hand experience that it is NOT fun.
Sitting on the toilet feeling like you're trying to pass the International Space Station through the eye of a needle is not something to wish on anyone.
So while I don't doubt that such reactions are possible & even probable, since even a Haribo "single serving mini bag" worth of Maltitol would cause some people to feel like Mount Vesuvius were erupting out their bowels, anyone stupid enough to consume an entire "restaurant size" bag of the stuff deserves what they get.
And I agree with the other commenter whom said that most of the reviews were probably just trolls.
The AOL "Me Too!" crowd enjoy dogpiling on such things, even if they have to make it up to do so.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go send another bag of the little shits to the WBC to show them how much I care.
This is why I eat REAL sugar. I'd rather risk cavities down the road than endure unbearable, sticky trips to the porcelain god of punishment.
Why does the USFDA allow that sugar-sub shit here when the EU has alternatives or just uses real sugar and avoids (it seems) the problems here? Oh, I think I know why? Many chemical companies here have a smorgasbord of stuff spewing out as by-products of one process with tons of the chems on hand and no way to monetize the byproducts. So, they get it allowed into food, and we eat the shit if we don't read the labels, and line the coffers of chemical companies.
Same with chems in toothpaste, mouthwash, or anything else that subs for sugar or adds colors, or whatever.
Well, who knows. Maybe the stuff WON'T cause harm -- statistically, andd before something ELSE instead does us in...
My local tesco has an import section, it had a stupidly expensive box of Pepsi Classic, proudly displaying 'made with real sugar'... I assume whoever ordered it didn't realise that the entire shelf of 'normal' pepsi was also made with real sugar.
It's likley cheaper to use real sugar than HFCS over here.
"Haribo's products in Europe use actual sugar, & their sugar free products tend to use other ingredients than Maltitol."
Pah! Us Europeans denied the real McCoy. I suppose that's come-uppance for us having pleasant tasting beer, chocolate and bacon.
I'm not enamoured of the urgent visits to the trap that are described, but perhaps Haribo could isolate the stench-inducing compounds and market them in a new product as Haribo Death Bears. I'll wager that there's actually a big market for a product that can reliably and in short order produce "Breath of Satan" trumps. I had some fine paint-stripping flatus over the weekend following the opening of some ultra-mature cheddar (with added brewer's yeast), but having the right fuel in the portable and discrete format of a bag of Haribo, that would be the business. Pop a good handful down your gullet ten minutes before going into the post office, or when accompanying the missus on clothes shopping expeditions, and share the happy world of Haribo.
You know it makes sense.
I don't like this haribo stuff and couldn't give a shit (no pun intended). But what the feck is a coffee straw? Seriously, are there bucktards around drinking coffee through a straw? That's just as stupid as drinking coffee or anything for that matter through a tiny hole in a plastic lid.
That hot straw thing is not what is usually meant by a Coffee Straw; usually it refers to a "stir-straw"; a straw that is actually not meant to be used to drink with (though it is occasionally used that way), but, rather, to stir your hot beverage in order to incorporate additives into the solution; e.g. sugar and cream or non-dairy creamer. They are typically red and quite thin, often two co-joined small straws in order to increase the surface area of the side.
Here is an example that is white, with a red stripe: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/suffixitem/48550/BX.html
Yeah, I always pop the top off and drink like an adult from the cup.
We're not 3, drinking from straws and small hole sippy cups.
I also strongly dislike bottles that have those silly "sports" tops, where the top pops up and you have to tease the fluid out from a tiny, awkward hole.
I always unscrew the damn top. A useless invention.
That would be a greenhouse gas, right? So in the wrong hands etc these gummi bears are an ecological danger. Maybe they should be Haribo cows? You wouldn't think that candy cattle could produce methane but, well, I guess these would, indirectly. So it seems like the confectioner's art can imitate life. Or vice versa.
Didn't Germany run it non-military trucks and cars on gas during the First World War? So maybe these Haribo bears will help alleviate any gas shortages arising from the supposedly impending exhaustion of the world's oil reserves but at the cost of an increase in other kinds of gas. Ugh.
If the carbon tax were replaced by a methane tax, then the price of Haribo gummi bears would rise enough that no one could afford them. Problem solved! World saved!
I'd breathe a sigh of relief but then I'd have to inhale, now wouldn't I?
That would be a greenhouse gas, right? So in the wrong hands etc these gummi bears are an ecological danger
I have a more positive outlook on life. This is what you give people who want to give up smoking, because the risk of combustion will just be too high. It's on the same level as giving people with a persistent cough a strong laxative (they wouldn't *dare* cough then).
That is *really* alternative medicine.
Now THAT would be as.... sitty shituation....
Worse than "buying the farm", scarier than being "deep-sixed", and a ghastly way to "give up the ghost", I dare say...
After that episode, one'd feel as if one'd bought the ghost, given up the six, and deeped the farm.
Any sugar free product if consumed in quantity will do this. As kids we used to buy a pack of sugar free mints that had warnings not to eat more than 1/4 pack at a time and quaff them to produce violent wind sessions for a laugh, and especially enjoyed the occasion when the "must go one better" type ate two whole packs and ended up in agony on the toilet for hours.
Sorbitol, maltitol, asparane etc etc, all produce the same effects. Stevia is the new kid on the block, and while overconsumption of it doesnt appear to kick in the gastric bubble of doom, it does however make me feel a bit crap afterwards. You can induce the effects if you eat and drink the sweetners in multiple products, too much diet coke and some sugar free mints for example. Ask a diabetic how careful they have to be about that one...
So, overconsumption of sugar free sweets cause a known side effect, and people are calling for it to be withdrawn. Its like a version of darwinism where the person doesnt die as a result.
> Any sugar free product if consumed in quantity will do this
Up to a point, Lord Copper. To be scientific, 'quantity' needs to be, er, quantified, and 'any sugar free product' needs to be characterised.
A quick bit of research shows that maltitol may be expected to produce intestinal symptoms in 40-60 g amounts (for adults), but my entirely untested speculation is that the type and severity of the symptoms will vary depending on the gut microorganisms which are chowing down on the maltitol. The effect is due to maltitol (and other sugar alcohols) not being absorbed in the small intestine, so they are passed through to the large intestine and colon, where the Pseudomonas sp. and allies can metabolise them, producing the noxious gases etc. If your particular internal ecosystem is tuned up for gas production from maltitol, then best stand clear of the sugar-free bears .
You also mentioned stevia and 'asparane', which I guess was a typo for 'aspartame'. These are both very different to the sugar alcohols; the former is a diterpenoid derivative of a compound extracted from plant leaves, and the latter is a synthetic dipeptide compound, around which a health effects debate / conspiracy theory rages.
 And better still get yourself a proper grown up snack. Gummi Bears... WTF?
I had my first experience with this sort of reaction as a student. I'd chomped my way through a tube of sugar free mints before the "May have a laxative effect in some persons" warning on the tube caught my eye at almost the same instant that my lower intestinal track issued me with a "Robocop warning" and I was up & sprinting for the nearest convenience.
I have recently discovered that a certain type of pear contains the same naturally occurring chemical. The means of discovery was somewhat graphic in nature...
Some actual songs that may be appropriate here...
From Necrophagist's Onset of Putrefaction album:
"Intestinal Incubation", followed by "Fermented Offal Discharge"
I could dig up some Carcass classics, but I think that's enough of that. The one with the studs and patches on it...
I've had a couple of run-ins (sorry!) with maltitol and it certainly can be unpleasant. The main one was a box of Thornton's diabetic choccies and half a dozen were enough to cause me problems. It's easy to see that a whole catering pack of bears would cause major, well-deserved, problems.
Thornton's are especially bad, but I have found three a day is the maximum of any confectionery made of maltitol. I am diabetic and these sweets (not Haribo -- my favourite is the Leonidas no-added-sugar range--a class act) are an occasional pleasure. But one choccie or sweet is enough. You cannot use them as a one-for-one replacement. They have to be consumed cautiously. But many people (including me) became diabetic because they thought they could chow down on a bag of sweets with impunity. Maltitol's properties help remind us that over-consumption of ANYthing is a bad idea. I binged on sugarly confectionery and eventually got diabetes; if I binge on Maltitol-based sweets, I am punished immediately. I have learned self-restraint...
I failed to this only once with a sugar-free product, as a youth.
I was at that point still terrified of strange toilets. So I held onto the effects of a roll of sugarless mints until getting home, whereupon I let go which such force it was almost spiritual.
I still don't think I've reached that same, zen level of emptiness, ever since. I came close after Christmas, with a shatting bug that cleanly took 6 - 7 pounds off of me. But nothing that really rivalled the exhilarating release of Sorbitol overdose.
Meh. They can't complain, these pooey hordes. Says on the tin, innit?
Ahhhhh, you eggs-spearienced... RTFM... ReLAX The Flow Moderately....
Nerve-ahhhh-nnnaaa Endl-lightenment... Spear-ritual detachment.
I suspect, tho, that despite the lables, there are some who like being abused, and this will cause severe ab- use of thre abs.
Is Malitol one of those incarnations of "Stir end to the Ab-Byss and the Ab-byss STIRS end to you" shituations?
My diabetic consultant basically told me anything sugar free is a laxative as the substance used instead of sugar will give you the sqits including stuff marked for diabetics.
So its not new the answer is eat a little instead of great handfulls at a time. just imagine eating a handful of EX lax each time.
My all-time favorite... this so makes my day that I printed it out and tacked it up an the wall over my desk...
"8,639 of 8,927 people found the following review helpful
Ideal Gift For Your Congressional Representatives
By DeleriouslyHappyTaxPayer on October 3, 2013
The reviews are so helpful. It is so difficult to be sure you are buying something over the internet that is exactley what you are searching for.
I am sending a bag of these to every member of Congress to show my deepest gratitude.
45 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No "
It will be days before I stop laughing, I may try the same thing... I see that Amazon staff are helping another serious inquiry on a similar mission... ElReg may have some Congressional news shortly.
I followed the link to Amazon. I laughed. I laughed so hard I cried as only a man can do when confronted with stories of explosive diarrhea. What's the IT angle? Seems to me that in this age of "social media," woe is he who has a product that a creative writer looks upon with disfavour.
I washed these Gummies down with a gallon of Tuscan milk while driving home from work (The stuff was propped up on a proper steering wheel desk, so no moaning about safety!) When I got through the door the trouble started. I was on my iPotty for literally hours, with no internet connection, so I couldn't email for help. I grabbed a pen to write a note I could throw out of the window, but tragically it was a Bic Her, and my "masculinity" shriveled before my eyes (since then, I have found a Rubber Testicular Exam Model that makes an excellent substitute). Leaning over as much as I could (god I wish that thing had wheels), I thought I could hook a nearby microphone up to my PC to Skype for help. Alas, the audio cable was of such an unnaturally high quality that the EM waves travelled faster than light, hurling me aeons into the past. My Three-Wolf-Moon shirt was too much for the primitive peoples I encountered, and terrible wars of jealousy ensued. Now we live in caves, with nothing but whole skinned rabbits to eat. I'm not sure this message will get through...
The Amazon comments are really quite LOL hilarious; it is a gift which keeps giving; I doubt I'll read them all.
Manitol happens to be a Sugar Alcohol (Polyol) used to flush bad bacteria out of diseased cattle; so the extra mass which people dropped was probably most of the digestive flora losing grip on the intestines and just falling out; that and any digesting food is a lot of mass to loose in one go, probably much larger than a normal deposit! A number of Polyols can do this flushing to varying degrees e.g. Xylitol is useful because it stops bacteria sticking to a surface and is hard to digest, which is why it is in some nasal and dental products; this is why you see warnings on most products containing Polyols.
All sugar alcohols have that effect. I've felt the full force of it after being an absolute pig on a bag of sweets I bought, only to realise later that fine print on the bag warned of laxative effect, a gross understatement by the way. Safe to say I always read the labels now!
On the plus side, if you have constipation, this stuff will sort you right out :D
"A placebo controlled, double-blind study on health volunteers showed that consuming levels as low as 40 g of maltitol daily would trigger side effects of abdominal pain."
FWIW, it looks like that could be as few as three or four pieces.
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