Friday, February 9, 2024

FDA points to specific person who contaminated cinnamon with lead

Via Ars Technica's Beth Mole, this news about the lead-contaminated applesauce:  

A spice grinder named Carlos Aguilera of Ecuador is the likely source of contaminated cinnamon containing extremely high levels of lead and chromium, which made its way into the apple cinnamon fruit pouches of US toddlers, according to an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration this week.

To date, there have been 413 cases of poisoning across 43 US states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA said Ecuadorian officials at the Agencia Nacional de Regulación, Control y Vigilancia Sanitaria (ARCSA) identified Aguilera as the cinnamon processor and reported to the FDA that his business is no longer operating. Aguilera received raw cinnamon sticks sourced from Sri Lanka, which, according to raw sample testing conducted by ARCSA, had no lead contamination upon their arrival. After Aguilera processed the cinnamon, it was supplied by a company called Negasmart to Austrofoods, the manufacturer of the apple cinnamon pouches.

Being a lead level extremist*, I think this guy is a terrible person. I am glad that this was caught before it could become a worse problem, but it seems to me that it should not have gotten this far. I don't think it's practical or desirable to test every single molecule of every single lot of food that is imported, but it is genuinely alarming that we have a hole wide enough for lead-contaminated applesauce to actively destroy the minds of American children.  

*my definition: I believe there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20