FDA Warns of Lead Poisoning Risk from WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches for Children
Federal regulators are warning consumers that WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches may contain elevated levels of toxic metal, posing lead poisoning risks to children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the WanaBana pouch warning on October 28, urging parents and caregivers to avoid purchasing or feeding the products to children, after investigators confirmed they had extremely high concentrations of lead through sample testing.
Officials warn the levels of lead found in the fruit puree pouches are high enough to cause lead poisoning if consumed, and it is believed that the products may be linked to at least four cases of lead toxicity among children from North Carolina.
WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouch Lead Poisoning
Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause permanent brain damage or other serious health consequences to people of all ages, and especially to children, who are still developing and often do not show immediate signs of lead exposure.
Short-term lead exposure can result in minor symptoms, including headaches, vomiting, or abdominal pain, while longer exposure can result in more severe symptoms, including, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, muscular exhaustion, weight loss, or tremors, according to the FDA warning. However, exposure to even small amounts may result in long-term brain damage for children.
The FDA became aware of the problem after an investigation led by North Carolina health officials found extremely high lead levels in multiple lots of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, and identified them as the potential lead exposure source of four children who suffered elevated blood lead levels and acute lead poisoning.
The agency is currently working to remove the contaminated products from the market with the manufacturer, who has agreed to recall all lot codes and expiration dates for WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches.
The fruit puree pouches were distributed through multiple retailers nationwide, including Amazon, Sam’s Club, and Dollar Tree.
The FDA recommends consumers avoid buying or consuming the potentially lead contaminated fruit puree pouches, and advises parents or caregivers of children who may have consumed the product to contact a healthcare provider for blood testing.
Consumers who have experienced any symptoms of lead exposure should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Consumers are urged to report any adverse reactions experienced after consuming the fruit pouches to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program.
Lead Poisoning Risks
Exposure to lead during childhood can cause a wide range of serious health side effects. Research indicates childhood lead exposure reduces the brain’s structural integrity later in life, which can lead to reduced IQ scores and cognitive problems.
Lead exposure, even at low levels, contributes to increased risk of early death, leading to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns there is no safe level of lead exposure among children. Any exposure can lead to life-long health problems ranging from obesity to reduced cognition.
Research indicates children with lead poisoning have lower test scores, faced increased risk of kidney damage, and increased risk of ADHD. Another study indicated lead exposure during childhood reduces the brain’s structural integrity later in life.
Health experts warn lead exposure, even at low levels, is likely a frequent and unacknowledged contributor to deaths in the United States.
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