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Vitamin C powder contaminated



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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE COMMONWEALTH AND STATE MINISTERS FOR HEALTH .

. VITAMIN C POWDER CONTAMINATED

Commonwealth and State Health Ministers announced today-

withdrawal from distribution of all packs of ’U-Viva’ brand of

Vitamin C powder because of suspected nicotinic acid contamination.

The statement said that action followed several reports of

adverse reactions suffered by people who had taken the powder,

and the subsequent discovery of 30 per cent nicotinic acid in

one sample tested by the National Biological Standards Laboratory.

The powder, which is sold in 125 and 500 gram packs, with

a recommended daily dose of £ to 1 teaspoonful, is distributed

by mail order and through health food stores and some pharmacies.

Ingestion of the powder could result in a number of symptoms,

including flushing of the face, irritation of the skin, giddiness,

faintnesq, nausea, and a sensation of heat. Symptoms usually subside

on withdrawal of the drug.

However, the statement warned that people suffering from

peptic ullcer, diabetes, gout or cardiovascular disease could be

more severely affected by a high dose of nicotinic acid, and

should consult their doctor if symptoms persisted or if the

effect of their usual drug therapy appeared to be altered.

'U-Viva' Vitamin 0 is packaged by Vitamin Laboratories

Pty Ltd, of Adelaide, from bulk material obtained from other

suppliers'.

Thei statement said that it was not yet known how the contami­

nation occurred, nor was it known how many packs were affected.

The matter was being investigated by officers of the South

Australian Health Commission and the National Biological Standards

Laboratory. In the circumstances it had been decided to recall

all stocks as a precautionary measure.

The statement said that stocks of ’U-Viva' brand Vitamin C

powder may be forwarded to the South Australian Health Commission

at 158 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, SA 5000. If the sender's name and

address w£.s included, the information would be passed on to the

distributers who, it was understood, would arrange for credit or

replacement.

CANBERRA s r 13 June 1 980