Scientists have long understood that humans are not meant to eat black licorice. In the same way that an artificial, sulfurous aroma is added to natural gas to warn of its presence, black licorice is given a horrible taste, derived from the anise seed, so that humans know that it is not meant for ingestion. Recently, legislatures in Australia and Slovenia have considered graphic warning labels on packages showing exactly what happens to your taste buds when you eat black licorice; some studies suggest that up to 82 percent of the buds (technically: papillae) cease working forever, out of protest.

And also some black licorice has lead in it.

Also, the name of the product is confusing. (Photo courtesy of USDA.)

Officials are warning consumers against eating black licorice candy produced by a California company because it contains high levels of lead.The California Department of Public Health issued the warning Wednesday against 16-ounce bags of Red Vines Black Licorice Twists with the label “Best Before 020413.” …

Officials say tests show the product contains levels of lead that are more than twice the recommended daily limit for young children.

Authorities say pregnant women and parents of small children should contact their health care provider if they have recently eaten the licorice.

In fact, you should probably consult your healthcare provider whether or not you ate licorice from this batch. You should maybe also consult a shrink? Because, look. You only get so many warnings, people. The stuff tastes and looks like the Devil’s feces and now is also riddled with lead? What else will it take? What will it take to get through to you?

Your eating licorice makes this puppy sad.

Your eating licorice made this puppy fall down.

Your eating licorice — and this is serious — is pissing this puppy off.

Stop it.

Stop it.

Also, throw away that Red Vines black licorice if you bought it. It’s tainted.