FDA ends part of investigation into lead-contaminated applesauce | Trending Viral hub


The Food and Drug Administration saying Tuesday is scaling back part of its U.S. response to lead-tainted cinnamon applesauce pouches, which have hundreds of children fell ill across the country.

The FDA will continue to actively investigate how WanaBana Cinnamon and Apple Fruit Puree Bags, which were recalled in late October due to high levels of lead, became contaminated. However, much of the work the agency has done to ensure that no one else buys the applesauce bags is over.

the agency has took out the product from stores and prevented further imports into the United States. Two other products manufactured by WanaBana Schnucks Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches and Weis Cinnamon Applesauce were also recalled and removed from stores.

WanaBana bags were sold at discount retailers, including Dollar Tree. For several months after the recall, there were reports it is still on store shelves.

“It would be reassuring to see data on how many stores had products listed as contaminated and to see how they ensured the removal of those products from store shelves,” said Laurie Beyranevand, director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Graduate School of Law. . “These concerns are especially important given the prevalence of such stores located in lower-income communities.”

The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

The matter will be transferred from the agency’s outbreak response team to its subsequent investigations unit, where officials will continue to determine exactly how the applesauce bags became contaminated with lead.

The main hypothesis is that the cinnamon in the applesauce was contaminated with lead. In February, according to the FDA, Ecuadorian officials identified a cinnamon processor as “the possible source of contamination.”

The processor sourced its cinnamon from Sri Lanka. Ecuadorian officials said the cinnamon sticks did not contain lead before being processed and were contaminated after processing.

That cinnamon was then sent to a supplier in Ecuador called Negasmart and, in turn, to a facility, Austrofoods, where the applesauce pouches were produced before being exported to the United States.

The FDA will continue to review reports of lead poisoning voluntarily submitted to it; However, he says there may not be enough information for follow-up.

The FDA’s new focus will largely shift to surveillance and prevention. In March, the agency said identified more cinnamon products sold at discount retail stores that had elevated levels of lead.

The FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had been working with state health officials to track lead poisoning cases in the U.S. linked to the bags.

Because applesauce bags have a long shelf life, agency officials were concerned that they may still have been in people’s homes after the recall.

As of March, the CDC said it had received 519 reports of confirmed, suspected and probable cases of lead poisoning linked to the bags from 44 states. Among the sick were many small children.

The announcement comes less than a week after FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf testified before a congressional committee partly because of the agency’s enthusiastic response.

He called on Congress to pass legislation that would require food manufacturers to test imported foods for lead. Although many food manufacturers test their products for harmful chemicals, there is no federal requirement for them to do so.

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