F.D.A. Urges Recall of Cinnamon Brands Tainted by Lead

The Food and Drug Administration is telling consumers to throw out certain brands of cinnamon that were found to have elevated levels of lead, and it urged companies to recall the products from store shelves.

The agency conducted tests across the country after at least 460 children were sickened last year by illnesses linked to applesauce pouches. Those products had been contaminated with very high levels of lead from cinnamon processed in Ecuador.

The F.D.A.’s latest tests, however, detected far lower levels, 2 to 3 parts per million, in the cinnamon. In contrast, the cinnamon from Ecuador that sickened children last year had 2,200 to 5,100 parts per million.

“Although we have concern about these products in the safety alert, they do not present the same level of risk to human health as the cinnamon in the apple purée and applesauce products,” Conrad Choiniere, an F.D.A. food official, said in a release on Wednesday.

Lead is a potent toxin that is particularly hazardous to young children and has been tied to learning and behavior challenges as well as developmental delays. The agency said no illnesses were reported in relation to the latest batches of cinnamon, which were singled out over elevated lead levels after tests of 75 samples from retail stores.

The latest batches of cinnamon and the applesauce pouches were both sold at Dollar Tree stores. The company has said it is committed to the safety of the products it sells. Brands that the F.D.A. has urged companies to recall include Supreme Tradition cinnamon, sold exclusively at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores. Other cinnamon with elevated lead levels in the recent tests included the La Fiesta brand sold at La Superior SuperMercados and the Marcum brand sold at Save A Lot.

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