FDA Discovers Time Machine and Issues Recall Three Weeks Ago for Koala’s March Cookies

For Immediate Release

Food and Water Watch
Contact: 

Tony Corbo or Erin Greenfield
(202) 683-2500

FDA Discovers Time Machine and Issues Recall Three Weeks Ago for Koala’s March Cookies

Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director

WASHINGTON -  

"Three weeks after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall
notice for the melamine-contaminated product Koala's March cookies that
had been imported from China, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has
finally issued a nationwide recall of Koala's March brand cookies here
in the United States.  Unfortunately, the agency's action is too
little, too late and proves once again that consumers cannot trust
FDA's credibility when it comes to food safety.

"According to
the FDA press release issued on Friday, October 17th, the
importer-Lotte USA, Inc., based in Battle Creek, Michigan- initiated a
recall of the product on September 29th, 2008 because they ‘may be
contaminated with melamine'.  This statement is completely false, as at
that time the only recall issued on the product was in Canada. More
importantly, Food & Water Watch had both verbal and written
confirmation from FDA that the Koala's March cookies sold here in the
U.S. were safe, despite finding evidence in California, Alabama and
Connecticut that cookies tested were found to have melamine levels
exceeding FDA's own ‘safe' levels of exposure.  Up to October 17th, FDA
would only acknowledge that it was assisting Lotte USA, Inc. with
removing the suspect cookies from market shelves, but it was reluctant
to issue a recall notice informing consumers that might have still had
the products in their possession to return the products for refunds. 
The fact that the contaminated cookies are still being found in markets
indicates to us that even the meager action taken by FDA earlier this
month has been a failure.

"FDA should be faulted for the
misinformation that is being circulated to consumers, and accept
responsibility for their flawed decision to delay issuing a recall
notice while putting Americans, especially children, in danger."

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer rights organization based in Washington, D.C. that challenges the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources. Visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org.

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