I used to love watching my mother apply a dab of kumkum (a dry red powder signifying her being a wife) to the parting of her hair on her forehead. And it was that childhood image I thought of when I got an alert from my friend S.R. about an unusual recall on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website (he learned about it via this blog post). It was for a voluntary recall by a company in Skokie, Illinois. Raja Foods, is recalling a brand of kumkum and other powders for containing high levels of lead. The notice lists a whole lot of scary possible consequences, though it notes that "external use" (which is presumably how most people use the kumkum) "does not pose a health hazard."
Anyone know if other kumkum powders on the market are dangerous, too? Post your comments below.
Recall -- Firm Press Release
FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.
Raja Foods Issues Nationwide Recall on SWAD BRAND ABIL, GULAL, KANKU, KUM KUM, LAGAN SAMAGRI, AND POOJA SAMAGRI Containing High Levels of Lead
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- January 16, 2008 -- Raja Foods LLC of Skokie, Il is recalling its 3.5 oz. (100 g) packages of "SWAD BRAND: ABIL, GULAL, KANKU, KUM KUM," and "SWAD BRAND: LAGAN SAMAGRI KIT, and POOJA SAMAGRI KIT" because the product contains high levels of lead. Lead is very toxic and dangerous to humans, especially children, women of childbearing age, pregnant women and their unborn children. Although people with lead in their blood often do not exhibit the symptoms of lead toxicity, such symptoms include the following: stomach aches, colic, nausea, vomiting, abnormal irritability, and insomnia. Lead can also permanently damage the central nervous system, resulting in learning difficulties in school children as well as cause other long-term health problems.
These products were distributed through Indian grocery stores in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
These products are used in India for religious purposes and are intended to be placed on the skin or hair. Although the product was not intended to be sold for food use, its labeling may be confusing and may imply it may be used as food. The ABIL, GULAL, KANKU,and KUM KUM product is distributed in a 3.5 oz. (100 g) plastic bag with a front label stating "SWAD BEST TASTE IN TOWN SINDOOR", "FOR RECIPE IDEAS VISIT OUR WEBSITE : WWW.RAJAFOODS.COM", and "PRODUCT OF INDIA." The LAGAN SAMAGRI and POOJA SAMAGRI product is distributed in plastic bins with a front label stating "SWAD BEST TASTE IN TOWN POOJA SAMAGRI" SWAD BEST TASTE IN TOWN LAGAN SAMAGRI" The back label states "Imported and Distributed by: Raja Foods, 8110, N. St. Louis Avenue, Skokie, ILL 60076", and a sticker stating "NONEDIBLE".
External use of the product does not pose a health hazard.
Consumers who have purchased any of these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-800-7923 x 2860.
Earlier on SAJAforum:
- Canada bans brand of neem toothpaste (Aug. 2007)
Post your comments below.