Recall Alert: Tumeric Spices Found Heavily Contaminated With Toxic Lead

April 29, 2018
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At least 3 turmeric spice manufacturers have been forced to issue “voluntary” recalls of their turmeric products, after dangerous levels of lead found in their spices.

Any person that has consumerd turmeric products from these questionable sources are at risk of eating dangerous quantities of a toxic heavy metal linked to brain damage, bone disorders, and heart damage. 

Lead is common in low-quality turmeric powders and turmeric products because a large amount of turmeric is grown in soil with a high-lead content in or around India and China, and then imported into the US. 

It’s important to remember, just because a product is labeled as packaged, processed, or distributed in the U.S. does NOT mean that it was grown there.

Lead can cause damage to the nervous system and vital organs due to its ability to accumulate within the body. Even the FDA now acknowledges that,  “Too much [lead exposure] can cause health problems, including delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies. Pregnant women, infants and young children especially should avoid exposure to lead.”

The FDA spot checks food and supplement manufacturers across America, visiting their facilities and takes samples of their products for testing via ICP-OES or ICP-MS. But,  the FDA has still not revealed how much lead is required to trigger a recall

There are now 6brands of turmeric being recalled due to lead contamination. So far, there have been no illnesses or injuries that have been reported from the high lead levels in the turmeric, but Gel Spice, Inc., the company expanding the recall, is taking precautions.

The FDA lists the following products as being recalled due to potential lead contamination.

The website also provides pictures of the products for those who are unsure whether or not one that they own is on the list. Those who are concerned or have questions about the recall can contact Gel Spice, Inc. at (201) 564-0435. They are available to speak to consumers from 8am to 4pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The agency advises anyone who has these products to throw them away immediately and refrain from use.

The recall is an expansion of a previous recall:

“Gel Spice, Inc. is recalling one lot of Fresh Finds Ground Turmeric Powder because the product contains elevated lead levels.

The recalled ‘Fresh Finds Ground Turmeric’ is packaged in 3.75 oz. PET jars. It has a code of B/B 03/08/19 and B/B 05/18/19 on the neck of the container. The package also has a UPC code of 81026-01230.  The product was distributed at Big Lots Stores throughout the United States.”

The Dangers Of Lead Exposure

Lead poisoning from the ground turmeric may be  very serious if action is not taken. It is most dangerous in pregnant women, young children, the elderly and frail, and those with compromised immune systems.

Lead Exposure is most dangerous in pregnant women, young children, the elderly and frail, and those with compromised immune systems.

Healthline lists the following symptoms of repeated lead exposure:

  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal cramps
  • aggressive behavior
  • constipation
  • sleep problems
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • loss of developmental skills in children
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • high blood pressure
  • numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • memory loss
  • anemia
  • kidney dysfunction

Children who have had exposure to lead over a long period of time may develop intellectual disabilities. While it is not likely for this to occur after one instance of exposure to lead, parents are still cautioned to be vigilant.

If you think that you or your child has been exposed to lead through the contaminated turmeric, contact your doctor immediately.

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