Regulators have confirmed selected Lost Mary disposable products are illegal, and are urging retailers to remove them from their shelves immediately.
In a letter from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), dated 15 March, the two reveal “more exchanges of information have taken place” resulting in the identification of “further affected batches including some Lost Mary products”.
betterRetailing first confirmed Booker and One Stop had issued a voluntary withdrawal on their range of Lost Mary disposable pod products last month, due to a manufacturing quality issue.
At the time, the affected batches related to its BM600 device, including Blueberry, Blue Razz Ice, Blueberry/Sour Raspberry, Cotton Candy, Double Apple, Kiwi Passion Fruit Guava, Mary Bull Ice, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Ice, Triple Mango, Triple Melon, and Watermelon Ice flavours.
However, in more recent correspondence, regulators state grape and cola flavours from its QM600 product have also been found to be non-compliant.
EXCLUSIVE: Half of retailers plan to remove Elfbar 600 lines
CTSI and MHRA reiterated that there is no suggestion that the overfilled products are a greater risk to health in normal use, but stressed non-compliant products must not be made available for sale to consumers.
It went on to add that where products from non-compliant batches remain on the shelves “it is always a local decision whether action should be taken or not depending on local priorities, competing demands and available resources”.
The news comes days after leaked BAT testing data claimed nearly all major disposable vaping brands contain illegal levels of e-liquid.
The tobacco manufacturer sent a letter to wholesalers, explaining that it had commissioned “independently accredited laboratory” testing on Elfbar 600 products purchased from supermarkets and independent retailers between 6 September 2021 and 7 March 2023.
The evidence revealed that the tested products “contained significantly more than the legal limit of 2ml of nicotine-containing e-liquid from 2.76ml to 3.88ml, with an average overfill of 58%.
Following on from the ongoing scandal, the CTSI and MHRA have since confirmed “that replacement compliant products have been arriving in the country”.
UKVIA director general, John Dunne, has said: “Whilst we understand that mistakes can happen, everything possible must be done to ensure that they are few and far between because, as we have seen in recent weeks, the reputation of the whole industry depends on it.
“There should be an active programme of testing incorporated into the MHRA approvals process, backed up by random spot checks to ensure that not only are products fully compliant when they first enter the market but that standards are not allowed to drop over time.
“We also need to see swift and decisive action by the relevant authorities when any failure to comply with the law is uncovered so that mistakes can be rectified quickly and that manufacturers, distributors and retailers know exactly what action they need to take.”
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