13 January 2010
Bonsoy soya milk, product recall: Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
On 24 December 2009, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) announced a voluntary recall of Bonsoy soya milk by the manufacturer , following reports that the product contained levels of iodine in excess of the recommended daily intake for adults. The recalls follow a cluster of eight adults (aged between 29 and 47 years) with thyroid problems reported from one practice in New South Wales. All these individuals are reported to have consumed Bonsoy soya milk . In addition, one newborn child has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism following maternal consumption of the product during pregnancy .
Bonsoy soya milk was widely distributed globally and via the internet. A recall of the product has also been implemented by food standard authorities in Denmark , Ireland , Singapore  and the United Kingdom .
Advice for travellers
Iodine is required by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. The Food Standards Agency, UK provides information on the safe upper level of iodine intake . Consumption of higher than recommended levels can lead to clinical thyrotoxicosis and occasionally hypothyroidism. Iodine has been shown to cross the placental barrier and cause foetal and neonatal hypothyroidism that can lead to developmental problems. Information on the levels of iodine in the Bonsoy product can be found here.
Retailers already should have disposed of all supplies of the product from their stores in Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Singapore and the UK, but travellers should avoid purchasing Bonsoy soya milk, which may be available elsewhere. All existing supplies should be disposed of irrespective of the date of purchase.
Individuals who have consumed Bonsoy soya milk over long periods or who have consumed large amounts of the product should consult their general medical practitioner for advice . Pregnant women who have consumed the product should consult their obstetrician. Suspected cases of iodine poisoning should be reported to the relevant public health authorities.
Advice for the general public about the recall of Bonsoy soya milk and a fact sheet about iodine is available on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.
1. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Consumer Level Recall. 24 December. [Accessed 12 January 2010]. Available at: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/foodrec
2. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. National Product Recall – Bonsoy soy milk with very high levels of iodine. 24 December 2009. [Accessed 12 January 2010]. Available at: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/educationalmaterial/newsroo
3. Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Denmark. Withdrawal of soy beverage product with high content of iodine. 6 January 2010. Article in Danish. [Accessed 13 January 2010]. Available at: http://www.foedevarestyrelsen.dk/Tilbagetraekning/Tilbagetrukn
4. Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Iodine warning on BonSoy soya milk. 4 January 2010. [Accessed 8 January 2010]. Available at: http://www.fsai.ie/news_centre/food_alerts/BonsoyIodine.html
5. Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. Agri-food and Veterinary Authority & Ministry of Health joint press release on the recall of Bonsoy soy milk. 6 January 2010. [Accessed 12 January 2010]. Available at:
6. Food Standards Agency. United Kingdom. Iodine warning on soya drink update. 30 December 2010. [Accessed 12 January 2010]. Available at:
7. Food Standards Agency, Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals. Safe Upper Levels for Vitamins and Minerals 2003. [Accessed 12 January 2010]. Available at: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/webpage/vitandmin/
8. Australian Government; Department of Health and Ageing. BonSoy soy milk recall: Information for Medical Practitioners. [Accessed 12 January 2010]. Available at:
Food Standards Australia New Zealand www.foodstandards.gov.au