The Thai Public Health Ministry is seeking an explanation for the Food and Drug Administration’s failure to warn consumers that ya-hom restoratives contained the fatal chemical arsenic disulphide when it had apparently known about the problem for years.

A report from the Medical Science Department of the FDA shows sample products testing positive for arsenic disulphide as early as 1995. Manufacturers were told to recall their products, but the public was not made aware of the findings. Now health permanent-secretary Vinai Viriyakijja wants to know why the FDA failed to issue a public warning, given that the products posed a tangible risk to public health.

The FDA has now warned consumers about these specific products: Ya Hom Intara Osod Thaeng Thong, Ya Hom Prasart Thong, Ya Hom Hathai Thaeng Thong, Ya Hom Amphan Thong (powder and pill types), and Prasart Thong diarrhoea remedy.