Bonsoy Back on Shelves, Still no Apology

Below is an extract of the media release, dated April 29th. A fantastic amount of positive spin (they certainly lay the schmaltz on thick at the end), but no mention of anyone’s ill health, nor an apology.

I also wonder what they think about the negative feedback, and people’s stories of their ill health as a result of consuming this “healthy, natural food product”.

BONSOY IS BACK
BARISTAS AND COFFEE LOVERS WELCOME THE RETURN OF REFORMULATED BONSOY MILK

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Bonsoy, the leading soy milk enjoyed by baristas and consumers around the globe, has returned, reformulated, to cafes across Australia.

The soy milk drink, which was been a favourite among Australian coffee drinkers for more than 25 years, is being redistributed to cafes following its reformulation.

Fully tested and approved by Australian food regulators, the reformulated product has been distributed to cafes in NSW and Victoria for sale in limited quantities, according to Spiral Foods Director James Wilson.

“We’ve been inundated by loyal Bonsoy drinkers who have been asking when Bonsoy will be back. We’re pleased to announce the reformulated product is now available,” said Wilson.

“For more than 30 years Spiral Foods has been committed to providing healthy, natural food products and we have worked with the producers of Bonsoy to reformulate the product and return it to cafes and stores as soon as possible,” Mr Wilson added.

The new formula resulted in the removal of kombu, a seaweed extract that contains naturally occurring iodine.

“We have thoroughly tested the new product and have worked with the producers to ensure it fully satisfies Bonsoy drinkers in terms of taste and texture,” Mr Wilson said.

Bonsoy will be available in limited quantities through cafes before a full roll-out to consumers, through health food stores and supermarkets, later this year.

Mr Wilson said he was delighted by the positive response to product taste testing among cafe owners and customers.

“We’ve carried out taste tests with over 30 cafe owners and baristas stocking the new product in Sydney. The findings have been overwhelmingly positive – 100% gave it the thumbs up, claiming they liked or loved the new product. Everyone involved believed it made a great cup of coffee and would recommend it to their customers.”

“We’re pleased to have Bonsoy back with a great tasting, creamy soy milk,” said Jaraya Wood, Manager at Journeys Bookstore and Cafe in Annandale.

“It’s great and much preferred over other soy milks,” added Renee Byrne, Co-owner of Le Monde Cafe in Surry Hills. “It tastes a little lighter than before. I’m very happy with this product.”
The product also has the stamp of approval from Australian Naturopath Kevin Griffiths, who is enthusiastic about its health benefits.

“The reason that I love Bonsoy is that it is made with whole organic soy beans that have been prepared according to ancient and traditional Japanese principals,” Mr Griffiths said

“Bonsoy is a great source of high level vegetable protein and still has that delicious creamy taste and smooth texture that is loved by so many, including myself. It is also low in fat and free of cholesterol. Bonsoy is a nutritious and enjoyable addition to a well balanced and wholefood diet.”

-Ends-

Really and true, it’s fairly sickening (and would be laughable if the matter was not so serious) – the below text in particular is just horrible to read. It reads like a bad infomercial.

“We’re pleased to have Bonsoy back with a great tasting, creamy soy milk,” said Jaraya Wood, Manager at Journeys Bookstore and Cafe in Annandale.

“It’s great and much preferred over other soy milks,” added Renee Byrne, Co-owner of Le Monde Cafe in Surry Hills. “It tastes a little lighter than before. I’m very happy with this product.”
The product also has the stamp of approval from Australian Naturopath Kevin Griffiths, who is enthusiastic about its health benefits.

“The reason that I love Bonsoy is that it is made with whole organic soy beans that have been prepared according to ancient and traditional Japanese principals,” Mr Griffiths said

“Bonsoy is a great source of high level vegetable protein and still has that delicious creamy taste and smooth texture that is loved by so many, including myself. It is also low in fat and free of cholesterol. Bonsoy is a nutritious and enjoyable addition to a well balanced and wholefood diet.”

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Spiral MR: Monday 22nd March 2010

Again, all copy is copyright Spiral Foods and is sourced from the Spiral Foods page dedicated to the Bonsoy recall.

Monday 22 March, 2010
Spiral Foods has been contacted by a significant number of loyal Bonsoy drinkers asking us when Bonsoy will be back.

Spiral Foods has been taking the situation very seriously. We are totally dedicated to providing healthy, natural food and as outlined in our previous update, kombu (a naturally occurring source of iodine) has been removed from Bonsoy.

Spiral Foods has also been working with the producers of Bonsoy to ensure that the reformulated product fully satisfies Bonsoy drinkers in terms of taste and texture.

Reformulating, testing, gearing up production and shipping Bonsoy to Australia from Japan takes considerable time. We are working to have Bonsoy back in limited quantities very shortly and will provide further updates on this site.

Spiral Foods will also continue to work with health authorities and its products will continue to be subject to all Australian health and food safety regulatory testing.

Spiral Foods reiterates that it has been deeply concerned by the situation and appreciates your patience in this matter.

ENDS

VOLUNTARY RECALL

22 December – Bonsoy was made aware of a potential issue via an email from a customer who suggested customers be made aware of the levels of iodine

23 December – Victoria Health advises it had tested the product and found elevated levels of iodine

24 December – Within 12 hours of Victoria Health’s notification, Spiral Foods undertook a full voluntary recall of Bonsoy. This included:

* Recall notices in all major national newspapers
* Notification to retailers to remove all Bonsoy products
* Product returned or collected by Bonsoy where requested
* Full co-operation with health authorities who notified medical professional

Spiral MR: Monday 1st March 2010

There are I think 2 press releases between Christmas and January 2010, but again, I didn’t even think to save them.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In December 2009 Spiral Foods, the distributors of Bonsoy in Australia, initiated an immediate and voluntary recall of Bonsoy milk after being notified of elevated levels of iodine in the product.

Spiral Foods co-operated fully with health authorities and worked with its distributors to immediately remove Bonsoy from the shelves.

Bonsoy has now isolated the source of the iodine, which is naturally occurring in kombu, a seaweed which was an ingredient of Bonsoy. The producers of Bonsoy are currently reformulating the product, which involves the removal of kombu. While kombu has recognised health benefits (http://www.kurakonusa.com/), Spiral Foods is taking this step to eliminate any future issues.

Spiral Foods is committed to the highest standard of product quality and has taken this situation extremely seriously.

Spiral has been at the forefront of quality natural/gourmet foods for nearly 30 years and we pride ourselves in our products. Spiral Foods is also subject to all Australian health and food safety regulatory testing.

Thank you to those who have contacted Spiral Foods showing your support, we will be bringing back Bonsoy (reformulated) to our loyal customers very soon.

Spiral Foods is deeply concerned by this situation and appreciates your patience in this matter.

ENDS

VOLUNTARY RECALL
22 December – Bonsoy was made aware of a potential issue via an email from a customer who suggested customers be made aware of the levels of iodine
23 December – Victoria Health advises it had tested the product and found elevated levels of iodine
24 December – Within 12 hours of Victoria Health’s notification, Spiral Foods undertook a full voluntary recall of Bonsoy. This included:

Recall notices in all major national newspapers
Notification to retailers to remove all Bonsoy products
Product returned or collected by Bonsoy where requested
Full co-operation with health authorities who notified medical professionals

Spiral MR: Thurs 24th December 2009

Ed: I stuffed up by not cataloguing this better, but, this is all I have:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spiral Foods is committed to the highest standards of product quality and have therefore initiated a voluntary recall of Bonsoy Soy Milk regardless of date. Testing has indicated higher than normal levels of iodine present that may result in some people feeling unwell. Iodine is a naturally occurring substance and is an essential and necessary nutrient for the body.

We are cooperating fully and closely with Health Authorities after being notified of this issue, which we take seriously. Retailers have been notified to remove all Bonsoy products. Consumers should not use this product until further notice. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice. Please take your Bonsoy to the place of purchase for a full refund.

We are hoping to have Bonsoy back on the shelves as soon as possible. We apologise to our loyal customers and ask for your patience.

And also:

What has not been reported in the media is that the adults all came from the ONE medical practice in NSW (FSANZ website). Also, we have yet to be provided with hard evidence showing that this entire group did in fact consume Bonsoy, that the evidence of Bonsoy consumption is not just anecdotal and that the consumption caused their “condition”.

And also:

Please bear with us as we investigate and get to the bottom of this issue and establish all the facts, not just the allegations.

And this:

Spiral Foods is committed to providing healthy and safe food; if you think about it, it is in our interests to do so

This was added after December 24th, but I don’t have the date.

We have now been informed that 6 of the 8 say they consumed Bonsoy, the other two simply soy milk. It could be any brand, not Bonsoy.