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Formula Maker Admits Israeli Foul-Up


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JERUSALEM, Nov 11, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The German manufacturer of a soy-based baby formula recalled in Israel acknowledged Tuesday the product was lacking vitamin B-1, Ha'aretz reported.

The company, Humana, took full responsibility for the missing vitamin content and a company spokesman said it was a result of "human error" during the supervision of the production process.

The lawyer representing Remedia, the product believed to be the cause of three infants' deaths, claimed Humana removed vitamin B-1, or thiamin, from the formula, on the assumption the milk replacement formula already contained a sufficient quantity of the vital vitamin.

A Humana spokesman at the company's manufacturing plant in Germany said the level of vitamin B-1 in the product shipped to Israel was 10 percent less than the required level.

Health Ministry sources are also considering ordering the complete removal of all Remedia products from store shelves, though a final decision has yet to be reached.

Thiamine deficiency results in a condition known as beri-beri which can result in a variety of cardiac and neurological problems, and, if untreated, death.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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