FDA finds lead contamination in ground cinnamon products

In a concerning development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has detected elevated levels of lead in six brands of ground cinnamon spice. This revelation comes months after the agency’s recall of lead-contaminated applesauce pouches last autumn. The FDA’s announcement on Wednesday highlighted that these six brands of ground cinnamon contained lead at levels deemed potentially unsafe, particularly with prolonged exposure. Lead exposure poses significant health risks, especially to children.

FDA finds lead contamination in ground cinnamon products

The affected ground cinnamon products are marketed under various names, including MarcumMK, La Fiesta, SwadSupreme Tradition, and El Chilar. These products are commonly found at retailers such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Patel Brothers, and Save A Lot, according to the FDA’s statement. Consumers are strongly advised to discard any of the aforementioned ground cinnamon products and refrain from purchasing them. Concurrently, manufacturers have been urged to voluntarily recall these items from the market.

The FDA emphasized the importance of removing these products to prevent potential health hazards, particularly for children, from elevated lead exposure. Following the FDA’s alert, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores have promptly removed the affected cinnamon products from their shelves. Additionally, customers who have purchased these products can return them for a refund, as confirmed by a spokesperson for Dollar Tree and Family Dollar.

Despite the alarming discovery, the FDA has not received any reports of illnesses or adverse events related to the consumption of these contaminated products. This recent recall follows the FDA’s earlier recall of lead-contaminated applesauce brands produced by WanaBana USA. The contamination was identified following routine blood screenings of children, which revealed elevated lead levels. These applesauce pouches, originating from Ecuador, were distributed in various U.S. supermarkets, including online platforms like Amazon and discount stores like Dollar Tree.

Lead is a potent neurotoxin, and scientific consensus suggests that there is no safe level of lead exposure, particularly for young children. Despite the FDA’s monitoring of lead levels in foods, the U.S. government has yet to establish specific limits for lead content in food products. The recall last autumn prompted FDA officials to initiate a targeted survey of cinnamon products available in discount stores. This proactive measure underscores the FDA’s commitment to safeguarding public health and addressing potential risks associated with lead contamination in food products.