WanaBana Recall Issued After FDA Warns About Lead Poisoning Risk from Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouch
WanaBana USA has issued a recall of its apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, which contain elevated levels of toxic metal, days after federal regulators warned consumers that they posed lead poisoning risks to children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the WanaBana fruit pouch recall on October 31, indicating investigators have identified exceptionally high concentrations of lead in several batches of the apple cinnamon variety through sample testing.
Officials warn that the levels of lead found in the fruit puree pouches are so high that they can cause lead poisoning if consumed, and indicate the products were linked to at least four cases of lead toxicity among children from North Carolina. To date, the agency has become aware of at least seven adverse events in relation to the lead contamination from consumers in multiple states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, and North Carolina, according to the investigation.
WanaBana Fruit Puree Pouch Lead Warning
The recall follows an FDA advisory issued on October 28, warning consumers that the children’s fruit puree pouches potentially contained dangerously high levels of lead that could cause lead poisoning if consumed, and should be avoided.
The FDA became aware of the issue after an investigation led by North Carolina health officials identified the fruit pouches as the potential lead exposure source of four children who suffered elevated blood lead levels and acute lead poisoning. Federal regulators issued the warning as a result, and recommended WanaBana issue a recall.
While federal and state health officials are still working to determine the source of the contamination, the FDA has identified two other fruit pouch products with elevated lead levels and have issued recalls impacting certain Schnucks cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and certain Weis cinnamon applesauce pouches.
WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouch Recall
The recall impacts dozens of batches of 2.5 oz. WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches, sold in packs of three that were distributed online and in stores nationwide.
The FDA urges consumers who may have purchased the recalled fruit pouches to immediately return them to their original place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers, or those with children who may have consumed the products, should immediately contact their health care provider, the agency advises.
For more information, consumers may email questions to WanaBana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers are also urged to report any adverse reactions experienced after consuming the fruit pouches to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program.
Lead Poisoning Risks
Lead is toxic heavy metal that can cause permanent brain damage or other severe, long-term health consequences to all individuals, and especially to children, who are still developing and often do not show immediate signs or symptoms of lead exposure.
Short-term exposure can cause minor symptoms, including headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, or anemia, while longer exposure can result in more severe symptoms, including lethargy, fatigue, irritability, abdominal pain, headache, weight loss, tremors, and muscle exhaustion, aches, prickling, or burning.
Prior research has shown that childhood lead exposure can reduce the brain’s structural integrity, which can lead to cognitive problems and reduced IQ scores later in life.
Children are susceptible to long-term brain damage at even low amounts of lead exposure. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there is no safe lead exposure level among children, and any exposure can increase the risk of developing nervous system injuries, brain injuries, seizures, convulsion, mental retardation, delayed growth, obesity, coma, and even death.
Other studies have indicated that ,children who sustained lead poisoning had difficulty learning and developing after exposure and scored lower on standardized testing. Another study suggested that even very low lead blood levels in children was linked to an increased risk of developing kidney damage, and increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suggesting lead exposure could be a contributing factor for nearly 30% of childhood ADHD.
Health experts warn any exposure to lead, even at low levels, is likely a frequent and unacknowledged contributor to deaths in the United States, causing approximately 412,000 deaths occur each year.
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