Food Standards Agency
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Agency warns consumers to avoid certain clay-based drinks

The Food Standards Agency yesterday warned consumers not to drink certain brands of clay-based products, following test results that show unsafe levels of arsenic and lead. The brands are listed below.

Exposure to arsenic can be associated with an increased risk of lung, skin and bladder cancer. Additionally, exposure to lead by pregnant women, infants and children poses a risk to the development of the brain which can affect intellectual performance.

Products containing unsafe levels of arsenic and containing lead

  • Naturally Green, 100% bentonite clay, 250g, Batch No.17810, Best Before 2012
  • Chloe’s Beauty Room, 100% bentonite clay, 250g (manufactured by Naturally Green), Batch No. 17810, Best Before 2012 3
  • The Superfood Co., 100% bentonite clay powder, 250g, Batch No. 17810, Best Before 2012
  • Health Leads, Bentonite Clay, 1Kg, Batch No.34784, Best Before 05/11
  • Scent by Nature, Argiletz superfine green clay, 300g, LOT 090 -09 DL 09 11
  • Seventh wave supplements, green clay (French), 250g, LOT 031090307, BB 07.03.11
  • Fangocur, Mineral drink, 100ml, date of production 15 June 2009

Consumers should not drink these products. If you have consumed these products and feel ill as a result, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or speak to your doctor.

The FSA has only carried out testing on the specified batches of the products named above. There may be other batches of those products and other clay-based drinks on the market.

It is the manufacturer's responsibility to ensure products they sell are safe and in compliance with the law. If you have any concerns about clay-based drinks please contact the supplier or manufacturer. If you are still concerned you may want to avoid consuming them and consult your GP.

The science behind the story

Arsenic

Arsenic occurs naturally in a wide range of foods at very low levels. Its toxicity depends on the chemical form in which it is present. There are two chemical forms of arsenic, the more dangerous form is associated with an increased risk of lung, skin and bladder cancer. The Agency’s expert independent Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) has advised that exposure to this form of arsenic should be as low as possible.