eBay recently moved to ban global sales of the artificial sweetener Sorbitol following the death of a 28-year-old woman in Italy. She reportedly consumed a vial of the sugar substitute during a food allergy test. The woman, Teresa Sunna, collapsed last week after taking the popular low-calorie sweetener. It is not yet known why the sweetener was included as part of the food allergy testing, though it is known that it was purchased online as a cost-saving measure.
According to theBangkok Post,eBay’s statement read, in part, “As a precaution, eBay has immediately cancelled all sales of Sorbitol, which will remain banned pending further clarification.” It is not yet known whether the woman reacted to the Sorbitol itself, or to a dangerous additive not typically found in the artificial sweetener. Cargill, the company that produced the Sorbitol, stated “According to our internal investigation, the batch in question at the time of its dispatch (from Italy) conformed to our rigorous standards for product quality and safety.”
Italy’s health ministry has warned people not to purchase Sorbitol purchased online because of the potential danger. However, Health Minister Renato Balduzzi did not call for a banning of the substance, instead saying “There is no need for a general health alarm” on products containing Sorbitol, which include medications, diet food, and cosmetics.