Since Reddit, Instagram, Tic Tok, Twitter and other social media, broke the story of hundreds of people suffering from acute liver failure in May, June and now July, linked to Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles – and Revive Pineapple and Mango Smoothies (more on Revive to come), we have been retained by over 325 people across the United States and at least one person in Dubai. We have filed three lawsuits – one on behalf of a woman who had her gall bladder removed, one on behalf of a breastfed 4-month-old who has suffered liver dysfunction after her mother consumed Daily Harvest Crumbles, and one on behalf of an 11-year-old – the only vegan in her family.
The stories are remarkably similar. Otherwise healthy people (majority women between 25 to 55) finding themselves with extreme abdominal pain in an emergency room (during COVID) being subjected to multiple procedures from blood and urine tests, to CT and MRI scans, various ultrasounds and even liver biopsies. As many as 100 have been hospitalized and at least 30 have had their gall bladders removed. Many are still suffering, and frankly frightened, by what is actually causing the illnesses, and what risk they have going forward. Many have found some sense of relief that they are part of an odd fraternity and sorority of acute liver failure sufferers. Physicians across the country have been stumped clinically by what mechanism has caused this.
The common thread has been severe liver dysfunction and the consumption of Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles or Revive Pineapple and Mango Smoothies and the common ingredient, Tara. Those products have been removed from the market.
However, Daily Harvest and Revive are being silent on who the manufacturer on the Daily Harvest French Lentil + Leek Crumbles or Revive Pineapple and Mango Smoothies are and who the exporter and importer of Tara that has been outed as the likely source of an ongoing outbreak of acute liver failure. I will ultimately force that disclosure.
What is perplexing is the FDA’s silence, if not outright downplaying of the link. The FDA provided this statement to the press yesterday:
Tara, or Caesalpinia spinosa is a shrub or tree that can reach a height of 8 meters with spreading, grey-barked leafy branches. The leaves are compound, bipinnate, alternate and spirally organized and reach a length of 35 cm. The fruit is a flat oblong indehiscent reddish pod which contains 4 ~ 7 large round black seeds composed of endosperm (22% by weight), germ (40%) and hull (38%). The tara tree is native to the Cordillera region of Peru and Bolivia in South America, where the fruit grows from April to December. Tara trees grow at up to 3,000 meters above sea level and tolerate dry climates and poor soils including those high in sand and rocks. The tree is also resistant to most pathogens and pests. Mature pods are usually harvested by hand and typically sun dried before processing. It appears to only grow above 9,000 feet in Peru – a trip to Machu Picchu is in order.
It seems like this is the perfect time for the FDA to “float down to Peru” and see what is up with Tara? It does not seem that far:
I leave you with the rest of the lyrics:
We are testing a wide variety of Daily Harvest and Revive food for a clue as to what is causing these illnesses, and hope to have something to report soon