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A popular antiseptic dye that’s used in the treatment of equine fungal infections was pulled from the Canadian marketplace over fears of increased cancer risk.
Health Canada has recalled all products — including equine thrush treatments — that contain gentian violet from the Canadian marketplace. The registered veterinary drug products that contain gentian violet — Blu Kote, Dr. Naylors, Cristisol, Guard and Wound Spray, and Wound Clear Spray — have voluntarily agreed to stop marketing their products. In addition, their product licenses have been canceled and the products have been recalled in Canada.
“Given the seriousness of this risk, Health Canada is advising Canadians to stop using all human and veterinary drug products containing gentian violet,” according to a statement from Health Canada. “There is no safe level of these products, and therefore any exposure to these products is a potential cause for concern.”
The World Health Organization’s Codex Alimentarius Commission recommended Health Canada review the potential risk of cancer associated with veterinary drug residues in foods. However, the agency took it a step further and reviewed the safety of human non-prescription drugs, veterinary drugs and medical devices containing gentian violet.
Although the new findings suggest a risk for cancer, researchers published a scientific study in the Journal of the American Medical Association last fall that concluded gentian violet kills some cancer cells. The in vitro…