The Food and Drug Administration is conducting screenings of cinnamon imports into the United States following reports of children becoming ill due to lead contamination in applesauce.

The FDA is inspecting cinnamon imports from various nations for traces of harmful lead, following numerous cases of children becoming ill after consuming pouches of applesauce and apple puree.

The FDA stated on Friday that the most probable origin of the excessive amounts of lead discovered in recalled pouches of applesauce puree, which have been linked to illnesses in 34 children from 22 states, is cinnamon produced by a manufacturer in Ecuador.

However, the agency stated that there have been no other incidents of sickness or high levels of lead in the blood linked to this particular spice commonly used in holiday baking.

The organization has not yet been able to gather and directly examine samples of the cinnamon present in the item. Import records indicate that WanaBana LLC, located in Coral Gables, Florida, received deliveries of cinnamon apple fruit puree from Austrofood, a manufacturer based in Ecuador.

According to officials, a pack of WanaBana apple cinnamon puree that was recalled and purchased from a Dollar Tree store had lead levels exceeding the recommended limits set by the FDA by over 200 times.

According to Professor Joanne Slavin from the University of Minnesota, the agency does not have regulations for certain amounts of heavy metals, such as lead, in spices.

According to the speaker, consumers should be mindful of the potential presence of lead in cinnamon. However, according to the FDA’s statement on Friday, there is no evidence that any cinnamon products other than applesauce puree have been affected.

She stated, “I do not want to cause alarm and label someone as a bad grandmother for adding cinnamon to their pumpkin pie.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that children between the ages of 1 and 3 have experienced health issues related to the pouches, including one child with a blood lead level eight times higher than the concerning level.

Lead exposure is considered unsafe at any level, however the CDC uses a threshold of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter to classify children with higher levels than the average. The blood lead levels of the affected children ranged from 4 to 29 micrograms per deciliter.

The fruit products that have been recalled consist of WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches and cinnamon applesauce from Schnucks and Weis brands. These items were available for purchase at Dollar Tree, Amazon, and various other online retailers.

Health officials stated that children who may have consumed the products should undergo lead level testing. Kids who have experienced symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia have fallen ill, however, some children may not exhibit any signs.

Exposure to lead can result in significant challenges with learning, cognition, and behavior. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, heavy metals, such as lead, can contaminate food sources through soil, air, water, or industrial processes.


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