Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Spice Fraud Leading to Lead Poisoning in Children: FDA Gets to the Bottom of Lead Contamination in Children’s Fruit Purees

By Amelia Thorp

By Amelia Thorp

In the last few months, lead contamination has been a hot topic. Lawsuits for children with lead poisoning are being filed, and there is also the prospect of significant settlements. Weiss, Wanabana, and Schnucks’ apple cinnamon fruit purees have been recalled due to high lead levels.

Many have asked, “How did this happen?” The FDA decided to get to the bottom of it by testing the facility from which they get their cinnamon in Ecuador. They found “extremely high” levels of lead in the cinnamon, which amounted to 2,000 times higher than the maximum level proposed by the FDA.

Further research exposes a theory that this contamination may have been done on purpose. This adulteration, or process where lead was added to the cinnamon, may have been done to fraudulently represent the cinnamon as being higher in quality than it actually was.

This could pay economic favor to the cinnamon facilities. For example, some types of lead have a sweet flavor and therefore could add to the overall flavor of the cinnamon in question. However, no consensus has been reached on whether this contamination was deliberate.

Why Add Lead to Cinnamon?

Various lead molecules are bright red and may have been added to the cinnamon. Compounds like red brick, red lead salt, lead oxide and lead chromate, which mirror cinnamon’s red color, have been added to increase the value of the spice. Sadly, many different spices can be laced with non-food substances that enhance color, taste, and longevity.

History of Lead Poisoning in Ecuadorian Children: Could There Be Other Sources of Lead?

A PubMed ( report published in 2015 shows that researchers have done a scientific “look-back” and noted that Ecuador has been the source of high lead levels in children. In part, this has been linked to lead introduced into the environment from ceramic glazes. Investigations need to be conducted about the lead sources found in cinnamon plantations.

According to this report, “These findings further indicate that infants and young children exposed to [lead] from [lead] glazing of ceramics in Andean Ecuadorian villages exhibit greater potential metal-mediated poisoning than children of similar ages in Asia, Europe, other Latin American countries, and the United States.”

Lawsuits Are Being Filed for Children With High Lead Levels

Our firm is filing suits for children with elevated lead levels. We expect the suits to be consolidated before one judge for streamlined litigation. Of course, monitoring the health of your child is very important. Parents we talk to say that pediatricians are suggesting follow-up appointments as well as diet modification, which can help reduce lead levels.

Please contact our fruit pouch lead poisoning lawyers for more information at no obligation.

Related Posts