eBay bans sorbitol sales after Italian death

Mar 26, 2012
A sign is posted in front of eBay headquarters in 2011 in San Jose, California. The US online auction giant on Monday banned global sales of sorbitol following the death of a 28-year-old Italian woman who consumed a phial of the sugar substitute as part of a food allergy test.

US online auction giant eBay on Monday banned global sales of sorbitol following the death of a 28-year-old Italian woman who consumed a phial of the sugar substitute as part of a food allergy test.

"As a precaution, eBay has immediately cancelled all sales of sorbitol, which will remain banned pending further clarification," the company said in a statement, adding that it was cooperating fully with an investigation.

" is profoundly pained by what has happened," it said in a statement.

Teresa Sunna collapsed last week shortly after taking the popular substance, which was bought online by her doctor for a saving of around 20 euros ($27).

Two other women at the clinic were taken violently ill but survived.

Italian police on Sunday seized 1,000 tons of the substance and the has warned people not to consume any sorbitol bought online.

The batch from which the dose taken by Sunna came was produced in Italy in February 2010 by US commodities giant Cargill and then shipped abroad.

"According to our internal investigation, the batch in question at the time of its dispatch (from Italy) conformed to our rigorous standards for product quality and safety," the company said in a statement.

Sorbitol, also known as glucitol, is widely used in cosmetics, medication and diet food. It also occurs naturally in fruit like apples and pears.

"There is no need for a general health alarm" on products containing sorbitol, Renato Balduzzi told reporters on Monday.

Sunna's death has sparked wider concern in Italy over the increase in counterfeit pharmaceuticals bought online for a saving.

The ministry said it had arrested 337 people for illegal online sales of pharmaceuticals since 2005 and seized a total of 3.7 million doses.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

eBay buys recommendation service Hunch

Nov 21, 2011

Internet auction giant eBay said Monday it has bought Hunch, an online service which provides users with personalized recommendations for products and services.

EBay wins court fight against L'Oreal in UK

May 22, 2009

(AP) -- A British court on Friday ruled that Internet marketplace eBay is not liable for bogus beauty products sold on its Web site, dealing a blow to cosmetics company L'Oreal's campaign against the online auction giant.

eBay to pay damages to duped Austrian gold buyer

Apr 07, 2010

Online auction giant eBay is to pay more than 16,000 euros in damages to a user who never received the gold bars bought on its site from a fraudulent seller, following the first such court ruling.

eBay goes shopping in Germany

Dec 20, 2010

US online auction giant eBay said Monday that it has agreed to buy brands4friends, Germany's largest online fashion shopping club, for 200 million dollars (150 million euros) in cash.

Recommended for you

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

7 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

7 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.