Raja Foods Recalls Lead Tainted Indian Hair and Skin Products Used in Religious CeremoniesJan 17, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
Hair and skin products imported from India by Raja Foods LLC that contain high levels of lead have been recalled by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA said it is concerned that the defective products, which are used for religious purposes, could cause lead poisoning if they are accidently ingested. According to the FDA, the recalled Raja Food products pose no risk if they are used internally.
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". The products were sold in Indian grocery stores in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. They are meant to be applied to the hair and skin during religious ceremonies. However, the FDA said that confusing labeling on the product labels might lead some think that the products are meant to be eaten.
According to the FDA recall notice, 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".
The FDA has advised that consumers who have purchased any of these products to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the Raja Foods at 1-800-800-7923 x 2860.
Lead is a highly toxic substance, and can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Lead exposure is especially dangerous for children under 6 because they are still growing, and their brains are developing. The symptoms of lead poisoning often mimic other illnesses. They include irritability; loss of appetite; weight loss; sluggishness; abdominal pain; vomiting; constipation and pallor from anemia. There are often no signs that a person has been exposed to lead, and a blood test is the only way to determine if someone is suffering from lead poisoning. Mild cases of lead poisoning are treated by ending the lead exposure and having the patient submit to follow-up blood tests. A treatment called Chelation Therapy is used when a person tests positive for high levels of lead in their blood.