Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin issued a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration not to use 3.5 oz. packages of Swad brand sindoor because it contains high levels of lead.
The sindoor is an orange and red powder imported by Raja Foods LLC of Skokie, Ill. The product should not be used in food or as a cosmetic because of the danger of the high lead levels.
Cosmetic products do not fall under the jurisdictional responsibility of the state Department of Agriculture. The product labeling is confusing and implies it may be used as food.
“Although this is normally used in some traditional South Asian Pacific ceremonies and applied to the face or scalp, the Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed two cases of lead poisoning in consumers who used the product as an ingredient in home cooked meals,” Irvin said.
The front label of the bag states “SWAD BEST TASTE IN TOWN SINDOOR.” The back label states “Imported and Distributed by: Raja Foods, 8110, N. St. Louis Avenue, Skokie, ILL 60076”, with a UPC of 0 51179 42236 0 and may have a sticker stating “NONEDIBLE”.
Packages of Sindoor can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-800-7923 x 2860. Adverse events related to this product should be reported to MedWatch: www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm, 800-332-1088, fax: 800-332-0178, mail: MedWatch, Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787.
At least 280 packages of Sindoor were distributed to grocery stores that specialize in foods from India in the following states: Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.