Couple sues Fujifilm Irvine Scientific over recalled embryo culture oil

A couple in Los Angeles is suing after they say their embryos were killed by toxic oil used at a fertility clinic.

The biotech company behind the important oil — typically used in in vitro fertilization labs to protect cultured embryos and keep them from drying out — Fujifilm Irvine Scientific, sent a batch of the oil to fertility clinics that was actually toxic, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The company claims that it did receive reports of the oil not working as intended and has investigated further. Now, Fujifilm Irvine Scientific is recalling batches of the oil. 

"Although the oil product had met its specifications before it was shipped, the company said, its investigation detected toxicity in three of the lots," the Los Angeles Times wrote. "The company said it was also recalling a fourth lot because it was made from the same batch of raw materials." 

Attorneys for the couple that filed the lawsuit against Fujifilm Irvine Scientific told the Los Angeles Times that "the embryos of more fertility patients may have been destroyed."

In a statement shared with CBS News Los Angeles, Fujifilm said, "While the natural variability of embryo development can be a substantial obstacle to successful fertility treatments, many factors may influence the success of IVF procedures. However, in consideration of the customer complaints, the results of our internal analysis and out of an abundance of caution, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 Fujifilm Irvine Scientific issued a voluntary recall of four lots of the company's Oil for Embryo Culture product." It added that the company "will respond to legal claims in the legal process."

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