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HomeLifestyleDollar Tree is still selling lead-contaminated WanaBana cinnamon apple fruit puree, FDA...

Dollar Tree is still selling lead-contaminated WanaBana cinnamon apple fruit puree, FDA warns

🚨What just happened?

Dollar Tree has failed to pull lead and chromium-contaminated WanaBana cinnamon apple fruit puree pouches from its shelves, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

The FDA sent a warning letter to the discount store chain, which has more than 16,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada, following Dollar Tree’s voluntary recall of WanaBana’s products in November because unsafe levels of lead were discovered in its products. However, public health officials “across many states” have continued to see WanaBana cinnamon apple fruit puree pouches on store shelves in recent months, the FDA said.

đź“– The background

A national recall of the WanaBana purees was announced in November after they were linked to dozens of cases of lead poisoning. Testing revealed that the cinnamon used in the apple cinnamon flavor was the source of the heavy metal contamination. At least 90 cases of illness linked to the pouches across 32 states have been reported, according to the FDA’s latest data. Two other brands of cinnamon applesauce products, Schnucks and Weis, also tested positive for unsafe levels of lead, as well as chromium. Further FDA investigation revealed that six brands of ground cinnamon were contaminated by lead.

WanaBana complied with the FDA’s request for it to issue a voluntary recall of its cinnamon apple fruit puree pouches. The agency also asked retailers — including Amazon, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and combination Family Dollar/Dollar Tree stores — that carried WanaBana products to voluntarily pull the products from their shelves. But, according to the FDA’s latest updates, Dollar Tree, Inc. (which owns both Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores), has “failed to adequately remove recalled WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches from its store shelves,” the agency said.

đź“Ś The stakes

Lead poisoning can have dire and lifelong effects, especially for young children and babies, the target market for the fruit puree pouches. Children’s developing bodies can absorb five times as much lead as an adult’s and repeated exposure to high levels of lead can lead to neurocognitive issues, including low IQ and difficulty learning and paying attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although some children will develop stomach pain, headaches, vomiting and anemia shortly after exposure to lead, most have no immediate symptoms, the FDA warns. Longer-term symptoms include irritability, lethargy, fatigue, aching, constipation, difficulty concentrating, weakness, weight loss and tremors, but the most surefire way to check for lead poisoning is through a blood test, which the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends be administered to kids between ages 12 months and 24 months.

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