Digestive enzyme products contaminated with chloramphenicol—a potent antibiotic withdrawn from the market in oral forms for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012—have reportedly been found in Japan, Europe, Canada, and the United States. Manufactured in India and distributed by California-based Specialty Enzymes & Biotechnologies, the enzymes are sold in various formulations to companies that manufacture dietary supplements, conventional foods and animal feed.

According to a news source, Specialty Enzymes sold a portion of tainted lots of products to a Japanese distributor which then sold and shipped the products to companies in Europe. These affected products were evidently re-formulated and shipped back to the United States and Canada; the Canadian government has issued a warning that some natural health product manufacturers may unknowingly be using contaminated raw materials.

Calling the probability of a serious adverse health consequence "remote" and noting that any other potential consequences would be "temporary or medically reversible," Specialty Enzymes issued a voluntary recall of the specific lot numbers affected by the purported contamination and is apparently working closely with FDA to resolve the matter. See NutraIngredients-USA. com, November 4, 2013; Specialty Enzymes & Biotechnologies News Release, November 5, 2013.