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FDA Initiates Seizure of Ginseng Because of Potentially Risky Pesticide Residues

Dec 16, 2004 |

At the request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey issued a warrant for the seizure of imported ginseng, and held for sale at FCC Products, Inc., located in Livingston, N.J. The U.S. Marshals Service, accompanied by an FDA investigator, yesterday seized the ginseng.

The exact amount and extent of distribution at this time is unknown, but was probably small in scope. Due to the uncertainty of the distribution, FDA is issuing a nationwide warning to those who may have used this product.

The bulk and blended ginseng products held at FCC Products, Inc., are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they contain pesticide chemical residues that are unsafe. The pesticide chemical residues, procymidone and quintozene, are deemed unsafe because there has been no tolerance established for residues of procymidone and quintozene in ginseng.

During an inspection of FCC Products, Inc., FDA collected samples of the firm's ginseng, which the firm uses as an ingredient to blend into dietary supplements. FDA laboratory analysis determined that the bulk ginseng products sampled at FCC Products, Inc., contain pesticide chemical residues procymidone and quintozene.

FDA is responsible for the enforcement of pesticide tolerances and food additive regulations. A raw agricultural commodity or a processed food or feed is deemed to be unsafe and adulterated, and subject to FDA enforcement action, if a pesticide chemical residue for which no tolerance has been set is present in food.

FDA is committed to promoting and protecting the public health by taking action against unsafe products, and against products that make claims that are false and misleading. FDA's mission includes ensuring the safety or safety and effectiveness of a broad spectrum of regulated products, including food, human and animal drugs, vaccines, blood products, medical devices, devices that emit radiation, and cosmetics.

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