Food and drug products are recalled when they pose a safety risk to consumers. When a food or drug is recalled, most often it is the manufacturer or distributor who voluntarily recalls the product in question after a defect is discovered. In other instances a government agency such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can issue a recall. The FDA will usually notify a company that their product is defective and needs to be recalled, often that company will comply. If they do not, the FDA can acquire a court order which allows the agency to seize the defective item.
Consumers can check for food, drug and cosmetic recalls on the United States Food and Drug Administration’s website. Below are three products that were recalled in July of 2021
1. Pfizer Chantix Varenicline Tablets
On July 16, 2021, Pfizer recalled:
- two lots of Chantix 0.5mg tablets
- two lots of Chantix 1 mg tablets
- eight lots of a Chantix kit of 0.5mg/1 mg tablets
due to the presence of nitrosamine, N-nitroso-varenicline, above the Pfizer established acceptable daily intake level. Long term ingestion of N-nitroso-varenicline may be associated with a theoretical potential increased cancer risk in humans but there is no immediate risk to those taking this medication. Nitrosamines are common in water and foods and everyone is exposed to some level of nitrosamines. The impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels for long periods of time. The recalled tablets were distributed nationwide to wholesalers and distributors in the United States and Puerto Rico from June 2019 to June 2021. Patients currently taking Chantix should consult with their doctor to confirm if they received an affected lot and if appropriate about alternative treatment options. To date, Pfizer has not received any reports of adverse events that have been related to this recall.
2. Old Soul’s Farms Leafy Green Products
On July 26, 2021, Old Soul’s Farms LLC recalled greenhouse leafy green products following a positive test of Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes can cause infection that can be serious for pregnant women. People older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, headache, stiffness, abdominal pain and nausea. The recall includes arugula, basil, finstar, green bibb, romaine, spring mix and clamshell green varieties. Any consumers who purchased the possibly affected products are advised to not consume them and dispose of the product immediately. To date, no illnesses have been reported.
3. Johnson & Johnson Neutrogena and Aveeno Aerosol Sunscreen Products
On July 14, 2021, Johnson & Johnson recalled all lots of five Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen product lines due to the presence of benzene. Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Humans are exposed to benzene daily from various sources. Johnson & Johnson states that the levels of benzene in the aerosol sunscreen products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences but the company is recalling the products out of an abundance of caution. The products impacted are:
- NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen,
- NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen,
- NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen,
- NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen, and
- AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.
Consumers should stop using these specific products and discard them. Consumers may contact the JJCI Consumer Care Center 24/7 with questions or to request a refund.