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Are Red Currants Illegal In The US? Why They Are Banned?

Do you know Red Currants contain mouth-watering tastes, from tarty to sweet and herbal, along with body-healing properties? Alas, they are not always available for some reason. 
Generally, Red Currants are safe when you eat them moderately and only Red Currants after ripening. However, Red Currants are illegal in 3 US states, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and West Virginia, because they are the secondary hosts of Pine blister rust.
Follow this article to learn more about Red Currants and their toxicity.

Are Red Currants Poisonous?

Red Currants are not poisonous. But, overconsumption may be slightly poisonous and cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

They mimic Hawthorn berries in appearance to some extent. 

Red currants fruits
Red Currants are a great choice to prepare wine.

Moreover, unripe Red Currants contain oxalic acid, which results in abdominal cramps, headache, and dizziness.

If you get any of the above symptoms after consuming the fruits, take medical help immediately.

Additionally, here are some tips for using Red Currants safely.

  • Consume Red Currants only after they ripen.
  • Feed your children only in a limited amount.
  • Wash Red Currants properly before consuming.
  • It’s better to cook them properly before eating.

Red Currants Benefits

Red Currants are members of the gooseberry family and possess important nutrients, including Vitamins C, K, and E.

Besides, they are a good source of dietary fiber and help improve digestion.

Some important benefits of Red Currants are mentioned below.

  • Boosts Immunity: Red Currants are rich in Vitamin C, which offers antioxidant properties to boost immunity.
  • Cardiovascular Benefits: Red Currants are rich in various beneficial compounds that help you fight against cardiovascular problems.
  • Hepatoprotective Activity: The fibers present in Red Currants help to protect from hepatic (liver-related) problems.
  • Anti-inflammatory Activity: Various phenolic compounds in Red Currants act against the inflammations caused by allergic reactions in our body.
  • Anti-cancer Activity: The antioxidants present in Red Currants prevent the formation of oxygen radicals that promote tumor development.
  • Assisting Health: Vitamin C is present in the Red Currants and helps in assisting the health of the eyes and skin.
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Dietary fibers in Red Currants are useful in curing gastrointestinal disorders.

However, Red Currants are safe only if you consume them after fully ripening and in limited amounts.

Oxalic acid is also present in ripened Red Currants but in very low amounts.

So, it is safe to eat Red Currants after ripening.

What States Ban Red Currants?

As of the data of 2023, there are 3 states in which Red Currants are banned.

  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • West Virginia  

Red Currants are banned in these states to prevent the spread of Pine blister rust, severely damaging all Pine trees.

Red Currants are the secondary hosts for Pine blister rust, so they are illegal in the US. 

But now, Pine blister rust is rarely seen, and the benefits of Red Currants are considered to outweigh the risks.

However, there can be various reasons that you might not be able to buy Red Currants, such as:

  • Red Currants are available from June to August, so you can not get these fruits in other months.
  • These are not commonly grown in all places, so it is hard to find them if you are not in those where the fruits are grown.
  • Another reason might be that you are from the Red Currants banned state.

From Editorial Team


Furnish Red Currant rare plant with well-draining soil with full to partial sunlight.

Similarly, monitor for pests like Aphids, Caterpillars, and Fruit flies and control them with Neem oil and Copper spray.