Neurotoxin in wheat flour poisons 49 in Brittany

Victims, including five children, suffer hallucinations and confusion

Split image of breton crepe and packet of buckwheat
People are advised not to consume the buckwheat, but to return it to the point of purchase

A batch of organic buckwheat contaminated with a potential neurotoxin has led to the hospitalisation of 49 people - including 5 children - in Brittany. 

The batch of organic buckwheat behind the hospitalisations was sold under the JP Cloteau brand, with use-by dates between October 2024 and March 2025 and available throughout Brittany and the west of France. 

It has since been withdrawn from sale.


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“The regional health authority received 11 alerts between April 15 and 29, relating to 49 individuals who had been affected, including five children,” Brittany’s regional health authority (ARS) told BFMTV on Friday (May 3).

Laboratory testing indicated that the individuals had all been contaminated by Datura stramonium, a member of the nightshade family that grows in buckwheat fields and produces dangerous levels of potentially neurotoxic tropane alkaloids.

They can cause anticholinergic, or delirant effects, such as hallucinations, confusion, dilating pupils and dizziness.

Five people were hospitalised due to these symptoms.

 "Two people are recovering,” said the Brittany ARS. “Three more were taken to the emergency ward for surveillance.” 

People are warned not to consume the affected buckwheat, but to return it to the point of sale.

The producer of the contaminated product, Marie-José Cloteau, told Ouest France that she was “obviously very sorry”.

“We have been operating as a small, family, organic company for the past thirty years. We have never had a case of contamination before.”