Zim govt recalls harmful SA baby powder for causing cancer; orders border intercepts

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE has urged health officials to urgently facilitate the recall of Tiger Brands products after recent discovery of excess asbestos, which has significant risk of causing cancer.

The alert aims to amplify an earlier recall by Tiger Brands, which is commonly known for manufacturing Purity Essentials Baby Powder products, after discovering trace levels of asbestos in test samples.

The test samples were from a batch of pharmaceutical-grade talc powder used as raw material in the production of finished powder products.

The batch of raw material with the detected trace levels of asbestos does not meet the company’s strict quality and safety standards.

Health ministry permanent secretary Doctor Jasper Chimedza

In a communication dated October 10, 2022 signed by the Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Air Commodore, Doctor Jasper Chimedza, all provincial medical directors, directors’ health services and chief environmental health officers were urged to expedite the recalls.

“The above matter refers. Tiger Brands of South Africa is recalling the Purity Essential Baby Powder from shops. The products contain unacceptable levels of asbestos which causes rare cancer called mesothelioma,” he said.

Products forming part of the recall include the 100g, 200g and 400g pack sizes of Purity Essentials Baby Powder.

“Given that a significant number of products in our supermarkets are sourced from South Africa, there is a possibility that some batches of the baby powder in question are already in Zimbabwe.

“These products should be removed from the shelves or intercepted at points of entry. Let’s inform the public of this harmful product to stop further distribution within the country due to its negative health effects,” added Chimedza.

As opposed to South Africa, where a similar recall was made with customers immediately being reimbursed of their money, in the case of Zimbabwe, details on the reimbursement to customers have not been divulged.