Safety Concerns: Unregistered Seaweed Tonic
New Zealand Food Safety has issued a critical advisory urging the public to refrain from consuming a seaweed tonic available in glass bottles with the label ‘NZ Focuidan’ or those in unlabelled containers. The agency’s deputy director-general, Vincent Arbuckle, highlights the significant food safety risks associated with this product.
A Hidden Danger: Unverified Seaweed Tonic
Vincent Arbuckle warns,
“The tonic presents a concerning food safety risk because it has not undergone the necessary checks and balances to ensure its safety for consumption.”
He emphasizes that the product’s lack of registration under the Food Act raises uncertainty regarding proper risk identification and management.
Unwanted Chemical Hazards: Seaweed Concerns
Arbuckle points out that seaweed can contain chemical hazards, including inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. The absence of proper controls, treatments, and dosage information heightens the danger, particularly for individuals with thyroid conditions, as seaweed can be high in iodine.
Misleading Claims: A Troubling Pattern
Additionally, the product raises red flags with its prohibited therapeutic claims. Arbuckle urges consumers not to be misled by these assertions. The lack of regulatory oversight casts a shadow of doubt over the safety and efficacy of the seaweed tonic.
Immediate Action Required: Do Not Consume
Arbuckle issues a clear directive:
“If you have purchased this product, whether it’s labeled ‘NZ Focuidan’ or has limited or no identifying labeling or branding, do not consume it. Safely discard it.”
The urgency stems from the potential health risks posed by the seaweed tonic.
Informal Distribution: A Concerning Trend
The New Zealand Food Safety Agency notes that the seaweed tonic has been available for sale through informal sellers and local markets, raising concerns about the unregulated distribution of potentially harmful products.
Safety Measures Underway: Product Removal
New Zealand Food Safety is actively working to ensure the removal of this product from the market to protect consumers from potential health risks.
Need More Information? Contact Us
If you have concerns about these products or require additional information, please call MPI’s consumer helpline at 0800 00 83 33.