Widespread Enzymes Recall Affects Supplement, Food Industries

Mumbai, India—Enzymes manufactured by Advanced Enzymes in Mumbai, India, are the source of what may be the most widespread product recall ever.

Advanced Enzymes was found to have used a veterinary antibiotic called chloramphenicol to sanitize its machinery during the production of an enzyme called Xylanase. Chloramphenicol is a dangerous substance that can be fatal and isn’t allowed in the human food supply. A Chino, CA, manufacturing plant (owned by Specialty Enzyme and Biochemicals Company) was the point of entry into the U.S. where tainted enzymes were sold to supplement, food and feed manufacturers.

In November, FDA put out an alert and asked companies for a voluntary recall. In a statement issued by Specialty Enzyme, the firm noted it “consulted a leading scientific firm to evaluate health risk, no matter how remote. Based on a comprehensive scientific analysis, the firm determined that in this case, the probability of a serious adverse health consequence is remote. Though unlikely, any other potential consequences would be temporary or medically reversible. As a precautionary measure, Specialty Enzymes conducted a voluntary recall of the specific lot numbers affected by this issue.”

Moving forward, the company says it will have independent testing of materials before they are sent to Specialty Enzymes, will retest them in-house and will test finished products before they are shipped to customers.

Additional information about this recall is available in “Deadly Chloramphenicol Laces Nutritional Supplements and More” by Kat Carroll, nutritional therapy practitioner, Natural Health Federation associate editor, at www.wholefoodsmagazine.com/blog.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2014