Iraqi government recalls tainted cold medicine made in India

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
3 min read

Iraqi health authorities are recalling an Indian-made cold syrup that Bloomberg News found to be tainted with a toxic chemical, according to an official in the nation’s Kurdistan region.

Kocher Younis, head of registration at the Kurdistan Medical Control Agency, said that a nationwide recall began on Wednesday, following one in his region initiated July 30. He provided a copy of a document from the central government’s health ministry ordering pharmacies across the country to withdraw the product. No illnesses from consuming the medication have been reported, Younis said.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Contradicting an earlier statement from the Iraqi health ministry, Younis said the product had been authorized for import and sale throughout the country after receiving approval from Kurdistan. A spokesman for the health ministry did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Bloomberg reported last week that a sample of Cold Out purchased in Baghdad in March contained unsafe levels of ethylene glycol, a toxic industrial solvent. The sample was one of 33 purchased by Bloomberg in six countries and tested by Valisure LLC, an independent lab in Connecticut. Bloomberg shared the test results with Iraqi and Indian authorities on July 8.

It’s the fifth time in a year that testing has found an Indian exporter’s drugs to contain excessive levels of ethylene glycol. The chemical was implicated in mass deaths of children who consumed Indian-made cough syrup last year in Gambia and Uzbekistan.

The label of the Cold Out sample tested by Valisure indicates it was made by Fourrts (India) Pvt. Ltd. The company has said that a subcontractor manufactured the product in question and that Indian drug regulators were investigating.

Several batches of Cold Out were imported to Iraq in recent years, the most recent in January 2023, Younis said. All of them are subject to the recall. He said the Kurdistan Medical Control Agency tested each batch prior to sale, but at least some batches were not tested for impurities such as ethylene glycol because those tests were not considered a requirement.

Read more:

Settling $10 bln Iran gas debt: Iraq’s creative solution amid US sanctions

Iraq and Kuwait to work on resolving border demarcation issue

Fire at electricity substation sparks nationwide power outage in Iraq

Top Content Trending