Sequel Naturals Ltd., maker of the popular Vega One vegan whole food supplement has initiated an immediate voluntary recall of a number of Vega products, including nutrition shakes and sports performance drinks that have tested positive for, or that may potentially be contaminated with trace amounts of the antibiotic chloramphenicol.
Sequel Naturals Ltd. and a number of other companies were supplied contaminated enzyme preparations by Specialty Enzymes & Biotechnologies that were then used in making their natural health products. As a result, products from these companies are at risk of contamination with chloramphenicol.
Chloramphenicol is a potent drug and should only be used under medical supervision after careful consideration of the risks associated with its use. It is associated with a rare risk of aplastic anemia and many other serious side effects. In laboratory animals a dosage of 2500mg can be fatal.
The antibiotic was first discovered in 1947 as a natural product secreted by the bacterium Streptomyces venezuelae, which is found in soil and compost. It was used successfully in treating typhus outbreaks in Bolivia and Malaysia in 1948 and remains widely used in many third-world countries.
Consumers wanting more information on the recall can contact Sequel Naturals Ltd. at 1-866-839-8863. Health Canada has posted a full list of affected products being recalled in Canada by various companies supplied with contaminated enzyme preparations.