‘Benylin cough syrup could be toxic’  

By Rorisang Modiba

Nigeria’s health authority has issued a recall for a batch of Benylin children’s cough syrup – allegedly manufactured in South Africa – that contains high concentrations of a potentially lethal toxic substance. 

A Reuters report on Wednesday said tests of the cough syrup revealed high levels of diethylene glycol. 

The chemical has been associated with the deaths of numerous children in The Gambia, Uzbekistan, and Cameroon since 2022. 

The syrup is used for treating symptoms of cough, congestion, hay fever, and other allergies in children between the ages of two and 12, according to Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac). 

“Laboratory analysis conducted on the product showed that it contains an unacceptably high level of diethylene glycol and was found to cause acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals,” Nafdac said.

The recall of the cough syrup follows reports of child fatalities linked to the substance in other countries. The Benylin brand, previously owned by Johnson & Johnson, was moved to a new company named Kenvue in August.

A Kenvue spokesperson told News24: “We are engaging with Nafdac in Nigeria to understand more as we conduct our own assessment, including verifying the authenticity of the sampled product, testing methodology used and results reported by the agency.” 

The recall of the cough syrup in Nigeria and Kenya has raised questions about its sale in South Africa.

Pictured above: Benylin cough syrup.

Image source: X


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