FDA Seizes Tainted Ginseng SupplyFDA Seizes Tainted Ginseng Supply
December 17, 2004
WASHINGTON--The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested the seizure of ginseng imported by Livingston, N.J.-based ingredient supplier FCC Products Inc. after the materials tested positive for the pesticides procymidone and quintozene. Accompanied by an FDA investigator, the U.S. Marshall Service carried out a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, confiscating an unknown amount of the companys ginseng product. Unaware of the scope of distribution of this ginseng, FDA also issued a nationwide warning to people who may have bought or used the products.
The pesticide discovery was made during an FDA inspection of FCCs products, whereby samples of the companys bulk ginseng were collected and analyzed by an FDA laboratory. The FCC products are considered unsafe under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, because FDA has not established a tolerance for either of the pesticide chemical residues found in the ginseng.
This is the second appearance in six months by quintozene in imported ginseng supply. On Aug. 13 this year, FDA reported finding quintozene and other fungicides and derivatives in American ginseng products by Bloomingdale, Ill.-based NOW® Foods, which responded immediately by taking the product off the market. The company confirmed the findings via its own testing and continually updated FDA on the progress of the recall. NOW has since changed its testing procedures and supplier of ginseng.
Quintozene, a soil fungicide, has been used for many years to protect ginseng crops from rot during cool, wet months. The residue is scrutinized less in other countries, including Canada, and some Asian cultivators of ginseng have been slow to adapt to the standing FDA allowance for zero quintozene content in imported ginseng product.
At press time, FCC Products had not returned INSIDERs request for comment on the FDA action.
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