Master Herbs, Inc., a distributor of Chinese herbs based out of Pomona, California, recently issued a voluntary nationwide recall for a cough syrup found to contain morphine. The cough syrup was distributed primarily to Chinese grocery stores located in six states: New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, California, Nevada and Hawaii.
The morphine was present in 100 ml bottles of licorice coughing liquid sold to consumers in New Jersey and elsewhere. The inclusion of morphine in the cough syrup was not acknowledged on the product labels, nor was it noted on the product’s list of ingredients. The distribution company explained the absence of morphine from the list of ingredients by observing that the opioid is an ingredient of Compound Camphor, which is clearly marked on the cough syrup label.
Although the recall was not mandatory, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of the recall. The FDA issued a statement of notice about the recall and said that “consumers using this product may not be aware they are ingesting morphine.” The FDA’s statement further noted that anyone ingesting morphine could be at risk of “life-threatening respiratory depression and death.”
Another potential health risk posed by the cough syrup is the possibility of severe allergic reactions by individuals who are hypersensitive to morphine, as well as adverse reactions by young children with respiratory illnesses who might be particularly vulnerable to respiratory depression. Although Master Herbs, Inc., the company behind the cough syrup, stated that there have been no documented incidents of adverse health reactions to the product, the recall is still necessary to ensure that consumers are safe.
Additionally, it is also possible that the recall was issued voluntarily in order to protect the company against exposure to product liability lawsuits in the event that someone did suffer a negative reaction to the cough syrup in the future.
To learn more about the cough syrup recall, read the Fortune.com article, “This Cough Syrup Was Recalled Because It Contains Morphine.”
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or an illness due to a defective product, the best thing you can do right now is speak with a qualified product liability lawyer. The experienced personal injury and product liability attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi can help you explore all of your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Edison, Brick or Freehold, New Jersey.