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Cinnamon processor named as likely source of lead contamination in applesauce, FDA says

·1 min

Officials in Ecuador have identified a ground cinnamon processor as the likely source of lead contamination in applesauce products that have caused illnesses among children in the US. The processor, Carlos Aguilera, is no longer operational. The Ecuadorian health agency is still investigating the issue and found no lead contamination in unprocessed cinnamon sticks sourced from Sri Lanka. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has limited authority over foreign ingredient suppliers who do not directly ship products to the US. As of Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 413 cases of elevated blood lead levels in children who consumed certain cinnamon applesauce products. FDA testing also revealed high levels of chromium in some of the products. The health effects of chromium exposure are difficult to predict, but lead exposure can cause developmental delays and various health problems.