Valued at $32,000, the honey was imported by Sweet Works Inc. from Cheng Du Wai Yuan Bee Products Co. of Chengdu, China. It was then sold to Alfred L. Wolff Inc., a supplier of raw materials to the food industry, which placed the product in storage.
According to the FDA, testing of a sample of the honey stored at the facility showed that it contained chloramphenicol, a potent antibiotic that is not approved for use in food, animal feed, or food-producing animals in the United States. People who are sensitive to chloramphenicol can develop a type of bone marrow depression called aplastic anemia, which can be fatal.
"Unapproved food additives in the U.S. food supply are of significant concern to the agency,” says Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA took this action because of the potential serious public health effects of this product.”