France to suspend sales of Vitamin D supplement after infant's death

PARIS (Reuters) - France has started measures to suspend sales of a Vitamin D supplement marketed as Uvesterol D after the death of a baby who had been given a dose of it, a French medical safety watchdog said on Wednesday.

The agency said in a statement that investigations had found that there was a “probable link” between the infant’s death and the way in which it was administered to the child.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said that oral syringe through which it is administered appeared to be at fault and that the supplement itself was not dangerous.

Uvesterol D is developed by the Crinex laboratory and is used against Vitamin D deficiencies in children up to five years old.

Officials at Crinex could not be immediately reached for comment. The company told French media on Tuesday, before the ban was announced, that tens of millions of children had been given the supplement since 1990 without any deaths resulting.

The European Medicines Agency said that the supplement is not marketed in any other EU country but that it was monitoring the situation.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Eric Faye, additional reporting by Michel Rose; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Dominic Evans