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U.S. Raid Seizes $1.5 Million of Contaminated Food Products

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More than $1.5 million worth of food products, including herbs and botanicals, stored in filthy conditions at the American Mercantile Corporation of Memphis, Tenn., were seized by U.S. marshals on Thursday at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency reported.

FDA inspectors in March had found evidence of rodent and insect infestation in the company's warehouse, but said the firm had failed to correct conditions. The products seized in the raid included items such as sarsaparilla, spearmint leaves, cornstarch, sweet orange peels powder, licorice powder, sassafras, and salt that may have been sold to and used in the dietary supplement and herbal tea industries, according to the FDA release. The seized products violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the agency said, because they were held in unsanitary conditions where they may have become contaminated with filth.

The FDA said it had received no reports of illness associated with the products.

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