Last week, Health Canada requested that wholesalers, distributors and retailers voluntarily hold the products because Vega One nutritional shakes in two flavours were found to be contaminated with a prescription antibiotic.
"We are taking this step in an abundance of caution," Charles Chang, Vega's president and founder, said in a statement Wednesday. "The scientific research shows our products are safe, but we have agreed with government regulators to withdraw these two specific products to alleviate any concern."
The company said the withdrawal comes after a third-party supplier informed Vega that an enzyme used in its supplement potentially contained chloramphenicol, an antibiotic that is commonly used around the world for eye infections and typhoid fever.
Health Canada has said that in rare cases, chloramphenicol is associated with the risk of developing aplastic anemia, a serious blood disorder.
The regulator said the risk doesn't seem to relate to the dose taken. But a company statement said an expert on chloramphenicol concluded that a person would have to consume 100 million servings of the nutritional shake in a single day to meet the equivalent of one therapeutic dose of the antibiotic.
Vega said that before Health Canada's alert, the company secured a new supply of enzymes free of the antibiotic and Vega is no longer distributing any product made with the enzyme blend containing chloramphenicol.
The full list of affected products is available at http://healthycanadians.gc.ca.
Consumers who have questions can call Vega at 1-866-839-8863 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, or email inquiries to email@example.com.
Vega was previously known as Sequel Naturals.