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FDA STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2004

Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Analyses Finds Ground Castor Beans -- Not Purified Ricin -- in Two Tampered Baby Food Jars In Irvine, California Case

Contrary to the impression given by some early reports, FDA did NOT find purified ricin in two baby food jars involved in an apparent tampering case in the Irvine, California area. To date no injuries have been reported, and these problems seem to be isolated within the immediate Irvine area.

FDA, which conducted the analyses of these products, found what appears to be the ground-up remnants of castor beans. Although ricin can be purified through chemical extraction processes from castor beans, the material found in these jars was far less toxic than purified ricin.

Nevertheless, consumers who find anything suspicious concerning the packaging or contents of baby food products should not feed it to anyone, but instead notify their local FDA office.

As with all baby foods, caregivers should carefully examine all food product packaging, including such anti-tampering devices as “lid safety buttons.”

For more information on food tampering, consumers can go to FDA’s web page at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fstamper.html.

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