Vega One Vanilla Chai and Vega Sport Performance Chocolate Contaminated with Chloramphenicol: Potentially Poses Serious Risks to Health

Starting date:
November 1, 2013
Posting date:
November 1, 2013
Type of communication:
Information Update
Subcategory:
Natural health products
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Contamination
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-36585

Issue

Health Canada is informing Canadians that two nutritional shakes from Sequel Naturals Ltd. have been found to be contaminated with chloramphenicol: Vega One Vanilla Chai (437g and 874g formats) and Vega Sport Performance Chocolate. Testing by the company identified the chloramphenicol, but Sequel Naturals Ltd. is refusing Health Canada’s request to recall these products despite the potentially serious risks posed to health.

Health Canada is also requesting that wholesalers, distributors and retailers voluntarily hold on to any Vega One Vanilla Chai and Vega Sport Performance Chocolate currently in their possession.

Chloramphenicol is a prescription drug and should only be used under medical supervision in adults and children after careful consideration of the risks associated with its use. If you have consumed or are currently consuming Vega One Vanilla Chai and Vega Sport Performance Chocolate, you should immediately consult with your healthcare practitioner.

Chloramphenicol is associated with a rare risk of aplastic anemia, a serious blood disorder that can be fatal. This reaction is unpredictable and not related to a specific dose of chloramphenicol. Other side effects that can be associated with chloramphenicol include allergic reactions in people who have sensitivity to the medication, and effects on the bone marrow leading to decreased blood cells. In addition, it should not be used by pregnant or lactating women.

Health Canada is aware of other companies that may have used raw materials contaminated with chloramphenicol in the production of natural health products for the Canadian market. The Department has requested that these companies voluntarily recall their affected products.  All have agreed to do so except for Sequel Naturals Ltd. 

Health Canada will continue working to have Vega One Vanilla Chai (437g and 874g formats) and Vega Sport Performance Chocolate recalled from the Canadian market.

Canadians are encouraged to monitor the Specialty Enzymes & Biotechnologies’ Canadian product list for a list of products either potentially or contaminated with chloramphenicol that may pose a serious risk to their health.


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