FDA: Lead-Contaminated Apple Sauce May Have Been Intentional

    FDA: Lead-Contaminated Apple Sauce May Have Been Intentional
    Photo: US Food and Drug Administration

    The Facts

    • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that a recently discovered lead contamination of three cinnamon applesauce pouch brands may have been intentionally poisoned. The brands are Weis, WanaBanana, and Schnucks, and they are sold by Amazon, Dollar Tree, and other internet shopping outlets.

    • The FDA earlier this week said there were 65 reported cases of contaminated cinnamon applesauce and cinnamon apple puree, with all adverse effects found in children under six years old. The federal agency also stated that it's launched an on-site investigation into Ecuador's Austrofood facility and working alongside Ecuadorian authorities to probe Negasmart, the cinnamon supplier.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The FDA is working to establish the exact number of contamination cases and how they occurred as well as offer guidance for both current victims and future prevention mechanisms. Ecuadorian authorities have also helped strengthen this investigation. It's vital to clamp down on product tampering in the global supply chain which can have serious health consequences for consumers.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Coming on the heels of last year's contaminated baby food crisis, this applesauce debacle is more proof of how porous America's health safety net is. To make things worse, before either of these stories broke, a 2019 report found that 95% of baby foods tested had heavy metals in them. This isn't a one-off story about a bad actor — the FDA needs to turn its many investigations into far more effective health and safety protocols.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 32% chance that Soylent-like meal replacements will be labeled unhealthy before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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