Hi, there – before we start, I need to note a couple of things.
- To be 100% clear: this is not a vendetta. This is about loyal customers of Bonsoy being made sick, and being able to deal with the results of that, or being completely unaware of the cause of their illness.
- If I sound angry, it’s because I am, and I won’t make apologies for that.
- I, and we, need to be really careful what we say here and use terms like alleged and so on where it’s warranted. After all, I don’t want anyone to get in trouble, nor prejudice any potential legal action, nor (most importantly), prejudice any dialogue anyone currently has with Spiral Foods regarding compensation.
Anyway, you may be wondering why I started this site.
I did so because I am really angry at how the Bonsoy recall has been handled. I think it’s fairly lax that this can happen with not even a hint of apology to affected people. This is serious stuff; my friend has been gravely unwell for over a year, with the culprit, at least from where his endocrinologist sits, almost certainly being Bonsoy.
My friend and I have already contacted Slater and Gordon regarding a class action, but they are not proceeding with the case.
I’ve subsequently contacted Maurice Blackburn about the case but they also are not proceeding due to the minimum level for damages case to proceed (at least in NSW – most cases according to them are in Victoria) being 15%; this equates roughly to loss of a limb.
In addition, I’ve emailed Consumer Affairs Victoria to make a complaint (no response yet), and contacted Spiral Foods to see what their position is on cost recovery for medical costs. There has not been a response from Spiral Foods yet (contacted March 24th). My contact with them did not make a claim for damages related to the effect on my health, however, this is something I will probably explore further with a solicitor.
So, what am I trying to achieve with this?
Well, I’d like people affected to get involved in this site. I’d like anyone who has been adversely affected by this product to be able to recover compensation. I want people to know what they’re entitled to do, and for them to be able to find information.
I want people to know what excess iodine can do to you (I’d never have imagined hyperthyroidism is linked to miscarriage).
I’d like to think there would be some sort of compensation for those whose quality of life has been affected adversely.
To this end, I’d love to hear from any legal people who would be interested in helping.
Spiral Foods Bonsoy Media Announcement
Monday, March 1, 2010
In December 2009 Spiral Foods, the distributors of Bonsoy in Australia, initiated an immediate and voluntary recall of Bonsoy milk after being notified of elevated levels of iodine in the product.
Spiral Foods co-operated fully with health authorities and worked with its distributors to immediately remove Bonsoy from the shelves.
Bonsoy has now isolated the source of the iodine, which is naturally occurring in kombu, a seaweed which was an ingredient of Bonsoy. The producers of Bonsoy are currently reformulating the product, which involves the removal of kombu. While kombu has recognised health benefits (http://www.kurakonusa.com/), Spiral Foods is taking this step to eliminate any future issues.
Spiral Foods is committed to the highest standard of product quality and has taken this situation extremely seriously.
Spiral has been at the forefront of quality natural/gourmet foods for nearly 30 years and we pride ourselves in our products. Spiral Foods is also subject to all Australian health and food safety regulatory testing.
Thank you to those who have contacted Spiral Foods showing your support, we will be bringing back Bonsoy (reformulated) to our loyal customers very soon.
Spiral Foods is deeply concerned by this situation and appreciates your patience in this matter.
22 December – Bonsoy was made aware of a potential issue via an email from a customer who suggested customers be made aware of the levels of iodine
23 December – Victoria Health advises it had tested the product and found elevated levels of iodine
24 December – Within 12 hours of Victoria Health’s notification, Spiral Foods undertook a full voluntary recall of Bonsoy. This included:
* Recall notices in all major national newspapers
* Notification to retailers to remove all Bonsoy products
* Product returned or collected by Bonsoy where requested
* Full co-operation with health authorities who notified medical professionals
Here’s where the situation gets a bit murky.
The Spiral Foods website unfortunately does not contain the old press releases.
These old press releases, at least from my interpretation of them, cast doubt on the cause of the reported cases of hyperthyroidism. You can read more about my interpretation here (where I make no bones about how poorly I think the press release comes across).
To save you clicking through, the problem statements were:
What has not been reported in the media is that the adults all came from the ONE medical practice in NSW (FSANZ website). Also, we have yet to be provided with hard evidence showing that this entire group did in fact consume Bonsoy, that the evidence of Bonsoy consumption is not just anecdotal and that the consumption caused their “condition”.
Spiral Foods is committed to providing healthy and safe food; if you think about it, it is in our interests to do so.
We have now been informed that 6 of the 8 say they consumed Bonsoy, the other two simply soy milk. It could be any brand, not Bonsoy.
So, if you’ve been affected, or, want to help get publicity about this issue, please link to this site, and drop me an email with the URL of your site or news item. If you want to contact me, please do so on the contact page.
And most importantly, if it’s obvious that I’ve stepped over the line legally with regard to anything I’ve said, or if I’ve prejudiced any action currently underway, please contact me immediately so that I can remove the offending comments.