Gel Spice, Inc has issued a nationwide recall of turmeric powder due to elevated levels of lead found in the product. Exposure to lead over a long period of time is considered chronic toxicity. Once lead enters the body's system it acts as any other vitamin or mineral and immediately begins to distribute itself throughout the body and its organs.
"... as noted in this paper on the Mechanisms of Lead Neurotoxicity, lead has a nasty habit of being able to mimic, or in some cases straight up inhibit the actions of calcium in natural biological reactions that take place within the human body, inhibiting neurological function, among other things.Lead also can damage DNA, as well as your cell membranes, the latter of which, combined with the fact that it also interferes with heme synthesis, can result in anemia among a host of other problems. It can interfere with the ability for your body to synthesize vitamin D, which comes with yet another host of its own problems if you don’t have enough. It also causes a few different problems with your immune system; interferes with metabolism of bones and teeth; can cause abnormal calcium build up within cells…" (Smallwood 2015)
Lead poisoning damages the liver, kidneys, heart and nervous system. It can also cause blindness, mental disturbances, mental retardation, paralysis of the extremities, coma and death.
Lead poisoning symptoms in children
The signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include:
Loss of appetite
Sluggishness and fatigue
Lead poisoning symptoms in newborns
Babies who are exposed to lead before birth may experience:
Lead poisoning symptoms in adults
Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults may include:
High blood pressure
Declines in mental functioning
Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm
Miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women(2014)
Recalled brands are as follows:
Those who are concerned or have questions about the recall can contact Gel Spice, Inc. at (201) 564-0435. They are available to speak to consumers from 8am to 4pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).
The agency currently advises anyone who has these products to throw them away immediately and refrain from use. (Scanlon 2016)
You can find the official FDA recall here.
Desk, N. (2016, August 08). Six brands of turmeric added to recall for excessive lead | Food Safety News. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/08/six-brands-of-turmeric- added-to-recall-for-excessive-lead/#.V65YM_krKCg
Lead poisoning. (2014, June 10). Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/basics/symptoms/con-20035487
Scanlon, A. (2016, August 12). These 7 Turmeric Brands are Being Recalled Due to Lead Contamination. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://naturalsociety.com/turmeric- recalled-due-to-high-lead-levels- 5546/
Smallwood, K. (2015, May 15). Why is Lead Bad For Humans? Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/05/lead-bad-humans-2/
Turmeric Recalled Due to Lead Levels. (2016, August 09). Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/news/20160809/tumeric-recall-lead
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016, August 05). Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm515328.htm