Consumer warning on clay reissued

Publication date: 13.08.2012

Author: FSA

The Food Standards Agency is reminding consumers, especially pregnant women, about the dangers of ingesting clay, clay-based ‘detox’ drinks and supplements. The advice is being reissued after high levels of lead and arsenic were discovered in products being distributed by online retailers, despite the FSA warning of the potential health dangers only last year.

Exposure to arsenic can be associated with an increased risk of lung, skin and bladder cancer. Exposure to lead presents a risk for infants and children in particular, as it can be detrimental to brain development and affect intellectual performance. For the same reason, pregnant women are also advised to avoid eating or drinking clay due to the potential risk to their unborn child.

The FSA is advising people not to purchase or consume the following products:

  • Bentonite Clay, sold by buywholefoodsonline.co.uk
  • Bentonite Clay, sold by nealsyardremedies.com
  • Calcium Bentonite Clay, sold by natures-harvest.co.uk
  • French Green Montmorillonite Clay sold by naturalrussia.com
  • Premium Calcium Montmorillonite Clay, sold by synergy-health.co.uk
  • Edible Earth digestive detoxicant and ionic mineral supplement, sold by detoxpeople.eu and wholesalehealthltd.co.uk

This is not a definitive list of products or retailers. There may well be other brands, online and shop retailers selling similar products.

If you have consumed these products and have any concerns, speak to your doctor.

The FSA is also reminding food manufacturers and retailers of their responsibility to ensure the products that they sell are safe and comply with the law. The Agency is working with online retailers to ensure that these products are either removed or marked as not safe for human consumption.