The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has reportedly suggested that apple sauce pouches exported from Ecuador may have been purposefully contaminated with lead.

The FDA is conducting an onsite inspection at a facility located in Ecuador after seeing 65 reports of adverse effects from recalled cinnamon apple sauce products in the US.

The brands that have seen products recalled are WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis.

US and Ecuadorian authorities have traced the cinnamon to Negasmart, which supplies Austrofood, the food manufacturer in Ecuador. Ecuadorian authorities reportedly claim that Negasmart’s cinnamon exceeded the country’s permitted lead levels.

Reports from Politico indicate the FDA said Negasmart is now under an “Ecuadorian administrative sanctions process.”

FDA deputy commissioner for human foods Jim Jones told Politico that “all of the signals” are indicating that this contamination was an “intentional act” from someone in the supply chain.

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By GlobalData

“My instinct is they didn’t think this product was going to end up in a country with a robust regulatory process,” Jones said. “They thought it was going to end up in places that did not have the ability to detect something like this.”

An FDA spokesperson told the publication: “We have limited authority over foreign ingredient suppliers that do not directly ship product to the US because their food undergoes further manufacturing/processing prior to export.”

According to Politico, the FDA has said it currently believes the adulteration is “economically motivated.”

The agency has advised anyone who ate the applesauce to get tested for lead exposure.

Just Food has contacted the FDA for comment.