Health Canada issues Type II recall for OrganiGram products

Updated: Jan 14. Recalled products include both dried marijuana and cannabis oil produced between February 1, 2016 and December 16, 2016

Health Canada released their first public recall of a cannabis product since March 2015 today, with the announcement of a Type II recall of 69 lots of product, this is in addition to five lots recalled under a Type III recall in late December of last year.

The recalled products include both dried marijuana and cannabis oil produced between February 1, 2016 and December 16, 2016. The affected lot numbers are listed here.

The public recall notice explains that five product lots in December had tested positive for myclobutanil “and/or” bifenazate. Both of these are unapproved pesticides under Health Canada’s ACMPR. Then, On Jan 9 of this year, OrganiGram initiated a second voluntary recall, this time a Type II recall based on trace amounts of the same pesticide(s) found.

Health Canada lists their three recall types as such

  • Type I: a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death,
  • Type II: a situation in which the use of, or exposure to, a product may cause temporary adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote, or
  • Type III: a situation in which the use of, or exposure to, a product is not likely to cause any adverse health consequences.

Type III recalls do not generally warrant a public recall, but a Type I or II recall does. In the past, Health Canada has issued public recalls for other medical cannabis, but has not detailed if it was a Type I, II or III.

Past medical cannabis recalls have been for issues like improper paperwork, inaccurate THC labeling, positive bacterial testing, and mould.

Myclobutanil is a fungicide commonly used for produce and vegetables in Canada under the name Nova40W and the US under the name Eagle 20. The product is considered "sightly hazardous" by the World Health Organization. According to the EPA in the US, Myclobutanil has a relatively low acute toxicity. The acute oral LD50 for mice is 1360 mg/kg, and ranges from 1.75 to 1.8 g/kg for rats. The toxicity of Myclobutanil when inhaled has not been thoroughly studied. In the US, Eagle 20 was found on numerous cannabis products in 2015.

Bifenazate (Floramite) is a pesticide used to control mites in agriculture like wine, apples, nuts and more. Because of its effectiveness, like Myclobutanil, it's also been long used in commercial production of cannabis in the un regulated market. Bifenazate is listed by Health Canada as "unlikely to affect your health when used according to label directions", however there is no research available on it's effects on inhalation of combusted Bifenazate on humans.

The specific levels of any of these products in these recalls is still unknown, beyond Health Canada's classification of recalls by Types. OrganiGram and Mettrum have been unavailable for comment. A representative at ECOCert, the agency that provides OrganiGram's organic certification, said the company is investigating.

"Right now, what I can do is tell you that yes, we are investigating, Health Canada is also investigating, and for now we have to wait and see what's going on and why that happened. This is as much as I can tell you today I can tell you today," Gilles Belley, Sales and commercial representation, ECOCert Canada.

Health Canada was unavailable for comment as of press time. Health Canada recommends that any individual affected by the recall immediately stop using the recalled product and to contact Organigram Inc. at the following number: 1-855-961-9420.

Updated: Aurora Cannabis announced on Jan 13 that, as a precautionary measure, they are recalling products they purchased for resale from OrganiGram. Patients registered with Aurora are being notified directly. Health Canada released info about it here.

Updated to add information on Myclobutanil and Bifenzate.

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9 comments

  1. Peter Stevens Reply

    of the 36 licensed Marijuana dispensaries, how many were affected and exactly where did this product find its way? Is there a tracking no? And who is directly affected?

    Peter

  2. Moi! Reply

    Thank goodness for the front & 1st line of options..... GROW YOUR OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pennies, and ALWAYS safe & superior to any corporately-grown irradiated excuse.. as we all know painfully from our tomatoes & all other corporate-vs-family farm/personal/community gardens... sigh & sigh again... Enough is enough of these wanton few's illicit incubation of a sad bygone era of corporate/political greed.. a status quo simply & wholly no longer acceptable period.

  3. Alan Reply

    Type II recalls are very common and issued when there's no major health concern. People are acting like this is nuclear fallout. If there was a genuine health warning, it would be a Type I. Don't let the prohibitionists win. Oh, and grow your own.

  4. John Reply

    Im a Aurora client, just received my notice of recall. hold on to your records as this recall may affect other clients LP's who received medication indirectly as Aurora has a habit of curating from other LP's which in turn may lead to a class action lawsuit. Im going to my doctor shortly to get tested since Im already in poor health.

  5. scott Reply

    considering myclobutanil produces hydrogen cyanide when heated (smoked or vaped by Medical Marijuana paitents) this should be rated as a class one recall. To classify as a level 2 where the risks of serious health issues caused by inhalation is considered remote is ridiculous.

    1. Alan Reply

      Stop spreading FUD.

      Even un-sprayed Cannabis produces Hydrogen Cyanide when burned, at levels 20 times higher than tobacco. Perhaps you want Health Canada to ban all smoking of cannabis?

      http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx700275p.

  6. bob Reply

    well many things to say here

    but most importantly is I and a number of my friends who wish to start using MJ for various ailments are greatly concerned by HC inability to oversee these producers...

    it was my understanding that any transgressions would be dealt with ...how can we the public have any faith in our elected officials if no penalties are given for transgression of regulations which result in the INTENTIONAL poisoning of patients...

    we chose Organigram as our potential supplier due to their assertion that they were organic..this is another corporate lie as the CHEMICAL found in there product is not organic

    as usual the government even though they initially stated they would deal immediately and harshly with LP's who did this

    these LP's have transgressed very simple rules knowingly and deemed it unnecessary to inform their clients and /or lied..

    how can we in anyway have faith in these corporate shills to do the right thing..or for the government to do so

    we will continue to use our local Compassion Clubs where at least we can get some valid information and can select from a better supply line and can LOOK IN THE FACE the people we deal with

    our government has once again shown there inability to do their job..fire them all...just welfare bums with a title anyway...heheh

    and also their unwillingness to protect us from the corporate businesses run b accountants..

    i was under the impression that all product must be cleared and tested before going to market..

    and with this chemical found on the product at organigram why do they still have an organic registration????

  7. frankie fuentes Reply

    How much weed is in a lot ? or does anyone know the lost in dollars ?

  8. eee Reply

    Mettrum has not released any medium to high THC content smoke for a couple of months now. Health Canada must have moved in and shut them down. Of course neither of them is saying anything. Mettrum clients like myself are left to fend for ourselves, wondering if the "medical" cannabis Mettrum supplied them all summer, later recalled, poisoned them! Is there a lawsuit in the works?, or an ambitious lawyer listening? Who better to sue than 2 wealthy, incompetent entities!