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Tainted Anacin-3 Was From Different Company

July 11, 1986

SEATTLE (AP) _ A bottle of cyanide-laced medication found in a suburban store after two people died from taking contaminated painkillers carried another supermarket’s pricetag, a company spokesman said Thursday.

A bottle of Anacin-3 was found by police in a Pay ’N Save store in Auburn on June 24, shortly after the deaths of Sue Snow and Bruce Nickell, both of Auburn, were attributed to cyanide poisioning.

At the time, authorities did not say how they noticed the bottle. The other four bottles containing cyanide-tainted capsules were Extra-Strength Excedrin.

The Anacin-3 bottle had an Associated Grocers pricetag that was put on the box in a warehouse that distributes to all of Washington state and parts of Oregon and Alaska, said Associated Grocers spokesman Gil Harding.

Associated Grocers does not distribute to Pay ’N Save stores, he said.

The FBI would not comment on Harding’s statement ″because that would go into the investigation″ of the contamination, said FBI spokesman Joe Smith. He would say only that the FBI still thought the case was a local one.

Sue Hutchcroft, a spokeswoman for the regional office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also could not confirm that the Anacin-3 bottle came from the AG warehouse.

Meanwhile, Thursday, Auburn Mayor Bob Roegner on Thursday canceled the state of civil emergency which banned behind-the-counter sales of capsules shipped after the tainted bottles were found.

The state has temporarily banned the sale of all over-the-counter medications sold in two-part capsules, while the county has banned the sale of vitamins and food supplements in two-part, pull-apart capsules.

In all, authorities have found five cyanide-laced bottles of painkillers - four in Auburn and one in nearby Kent.

The FDA checked more than 740,000 capsules from south King County and found no more cyanide, Ms. Hutchcroft said. Further tests were suspended.

Following the deaths and discovery of tainted capsules, Excedrin manufacturer Bristol-Myers withdrew all non-prescription capsule products from the market.

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