FDA seizes elderberry juice concentrate at Kansas company

Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries.

At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S Marshals seized elderberry juice products that have been distributed by Wyldewood Cellars Inc., based in Peck, Kan., because the products are unapproved and misbranded drugs.

According to the FDA’s complaint, Wyldewood Cellars makes claims in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) that its elderberry juice concentrate cures, treats, or prevents various disease conditions, including AIDS, diabetes and flu. The complaint was filed on May 27, 2011, in the U.S. District Court of Kansas.

“Products with unapproved disease claims are dangerous because they may cause consumers to delay or avoid legitimate treatments,” said Dara A. Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA is committed to protecting consumers from unapproved products on the market. We will continue to take actions against companies that do not meet federal standards for safety, effectiveness and quality.”

China to ‘severely punish’ food safety crimes

A procurator is not a procreator (could be) but an officer of the state charged with the investigation and prosecution of civil law rather than common law. Or so says wiki.

China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Tuesday issued a circular urging procuratorates at all levels to "severely punish" violators in food safety crimes and officials’ exhibiting delinquency in duty.

Procuratorates at all levels should work closely with public security organs and courts to give high priority to the crackdown on food safety crimes, according to the circular.

Officials found taking bribes and practicing dereliction of duty by covering up food safety hazards and helping violators evade supervision will be investigated and prosecuted "without giving any leniency," it said.

But I’m sometimes silly, and couldn’t help but reference this Monty Python and the Holy Grail clip.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail of Listeria

As part of her cultural education, about-to-be graduate student Katie has been exposed –inundated – with some of the favorite movies of Doug and Amy.

Last week it was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Young Katie wasn’t too impressed, and I’ll admit, the film has aged.

But certain bits still come readily to mind. When Amy asks me to clean up the yard and landscape, I think of the Knights Who Say Nee and ask for shrubberies from Roger the Shrubber. When Amy and her colleagues speak French, I want to taunt them John Cleese-style, such as, “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries.”

So when Canadian Agriculture Minister and would-be standup comedian, Gerry Ritz, told special parliamentary hearings tonight that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has "suffered a black eye" over last summer’s deadly listeriosis outbreak and that it was time to "get past the politics of this issue and move forward," I couldn’t help but think of the scene from the Holy Grail after Lancelot has killed and maimed many of the wedding party celebrating the union of Prince Herbert and the huge tracks of land owned by Princess Lucky. Prince Herbert’s father, eager for land and not a swamp, says to the dead and wounded,

"What’s the point of bickering and arguing about who killed who, it’s time to move forward.”

The layers of the listeria onion are slowing peeling away, and if a few key reporters can keep their jobs before being swallowed by the Intertubes, Canadians may eventually find out who knew what when and why in the listeria shitfest of 2008.

Sarah Schmidt of Canwest reports tonight that CFIA is permitting food companies to use non-accredited laboratories to analyze some listeria tests after the industry shot down a pricey proposal tabled after last summer’s deadly listeriosis outbreak requiring the use of accredited labs, according to newly released ministerial briefing notes. …

At the time of the listeriosis outbreak, such companies as Maple Leaf Foods were not required to conduct environmental listeria tests throughout their meat plants, including food-contact surfaces.

And if companies were analyzing these tests at in-house labs, CFIA inspectors were not required to review them.