FDA warns that an unsuspecting product that is likely on YOUR spice rack may contain toxic metal

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • The agency has recalled six brands of cinnamon found to contain lead
  • It comes after cinnamon applesauce pouches were recalled in October
  • READ MORE: Mothers of children poisoned by lead tell of youngsters’ symptoms

The cinnamon in your spice rack may contain toxic levels of metal, health officials have warned.

The FDA believes the lead contamination problem is more widespread than the cinnamon applesauce pouches that were recalled in October.

The agency announced Wednesday that it had sent a letter to all cinnamon manufactures, processors, distributors and facility operators in the US to remind them of their responsibility to prevent contamination.

Spices can become contaminated by lead in many ways, including from the soil it was planted into, old equipment or piping with lead in at the facility where it was processed, or the intentional addition of lead.

It also tested brands of ground cinnamon from discount stores and analyzed those samples for lead and chromium. Based on its tests, the FDA recommended recalls of ground cinnamon from six brands.

Based on its tests, the FDA recommended recalls of ground cinnamon from six brands, including Supreme Tradition, sold at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar

The brands recalled by the FDA also include La Fiesta, lot 25033, sold at La Superior SuperMercados

Retailers and consumers should throw away any El Chillar, F275EX1026 and D300EX1024, sold at La Joya Morelense in Baltimore, Maryland

The brands recalled by the FDA also include La Fiesta, lot 25033, sold at La Superior SuperMercados, and El Chillar, F275EX1026 and D300EX1024, sold at La Joya Morelense in Baltimore, Maryland

More than 460 youngsters in 44 states became sick after consuming cinnamon applesauce pouches that were contaminated with ‘extremely high’ levels of lead, sold under the WanaBana, Schnucks or Weis brands that were flavored with cinnamon imported from Ecuador.

Lead exposure has been shown to seriously harm children’s health, slowing growth and development and causing damage to the brain and nervous system.

Parents of children poisoned by toxic lead in baby fruit pouches have revealed their children are now suffering speech delays, dark circles, and behavioral issues.

Alyssa Magnuson, a 29-year-old from Minnesota, took her then 11-month-old daughter, Stevie, for a routine blood test last fall and was in ‘disbelief and shock’ when her child’s lead levels were more than 16 times above the safe limit.

Doctors also alerted Sarah Callahan, 39, of Maryland, that her 18-month-old son, Rudy, was showing signs of speech delays. He had been eating WanaBana pouches since that spring. 

Ms Callahan told NBC News that when she took Rudy for his one-year checkup last year, his blood lead levels were 19.8 micrograms of lead per deciliter. This is more than five times the limit that the FDA has deemed safe. 

Alyssa Magnuson told NBC that she was in 'disbelief and shock' when her daughter Stevie's lead levels were more than 16 times the average seen in children

Doctors alerted Sarah Callahan, 39, of Maryland, that her 18-month-old son, Rudy, was showing signs of speech delays. He had been eating WanaBana pouches since that spring

Alyssa Magnuson (left) told NBC that she was in ‘disbelief and shock’ when her daughter Stevie’s lead levels were more than 16 times the average seen in children

The brands of ground cinnamon recalled by the FDA are: La Fiesta, sold at La Superior SuperMercados, Marcum, sold at Save A Lot, MTCI, sold at SF Supermarket, Swad, sold at Patel Brothers, Supreme Tradition, sold at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, and El Chillar, sold at La Joya Morelense in Baltimore, Maryland.

‘Removing the ground cinnamon products in this alert from the market will prevent them from contributing elevated amounts of lead to the diets of children, the FDA said. 

Retailers should stop using them and consumers should throw away any of the products that they have at home, the agency said.

No illnesses or other health effects have been reported in connection with the new ground cinnamon alert, the FDA said. 

The level of lead found in the ground cinnamon products was much lower than the amount in some of the cinnamon applesauce pouches, but the FDA said prolonged exposure over time could be damaging.

The concentration of lead in the ground spice varied from 2 to 3.4 parts per million, according to the FDA. 

Meanwhile, the concentrations of lead found in the cinnamon applesauce pouches were thousands of times higher: between about 2,300 parts per million and about 5,100 parts per million.

The majority of people will have no obvious symptoms of lead exposure at the start.

The FDA recommended that people who might have been exposed to high levels of lead should talk to a healthcare provider.

A review of 17 studies found that being exposed to lead early in life is linked to a higher risk of criminal behavior in adulthood.

The metal is toxic to the body and has been linked to a host of health issues including kidney disease, infertility and delays in mental development.

Dr Jennifer Sample, a pediatric toxicologist, told the Associated Press that there is no amount of lead exposure that is safe for children, and the effects on brain development can show up years later.

‘It’s irritability. It’s behavioral concerns. It’s learning difficulties,’ she said.

Lead travels in the bloodstream and accumulates in soft tissue — such as the kidneys, liver and lungs — which can over time lead to problems for these organs.

Over time this can lead to a lower IQ, decreased ability to pay attention and underperformance at school for children.

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