Tag Archives lead

The Environmental Law Foundation has notified more than four dozen food manufacturers and retailers that they are in violation of California’s Proposition 65 Toxics Right to Know law (Prop. 65) after testing purportedly indicated the presence of lead in numerous fruit and fruit juice products. According to the foundation, “apple juice, grape juice, packaged pears and peaches (including baby food), and fruit cocktail” products contained “enough lead in a single serving that they require a warning” under Prop. 65, and the companies, since June 9, 2009, “have exposed and continue to expose consumers of their food products to lead” every day. California’s attorney general, city attorneys and county district attorneys received copies of the notice. The foundation declares in the notices that it intends “to bring suit in the public interest” against the listed companies in 60 days to correct the Prop. 65 violations. A foundation news release indicates that…

Consumers Union (CU) has issued the results of its investigation into protein drinks, concluding that many products are at best superfluous and at worst unsafe. Published in the July 2010 edition of Consumer Reports, the findings allegedly support the watchdog’s position that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act “is inadequate to ensure that protein drinks and other dietary supplements are consistently low in heavy metals and other contaminants.” CU apparently conducted outside laboratory tests on 15 protein powders and drinks purchased in the New York-metro area, in addition to reviewing government documents and interviewing health experts and consumers. According to CU, “All drinks in our tests had at least one sample containing one or more of the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.” In three cases, consumers who drank more than three servings per day purportedly risked exceeding the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s…

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has delivered testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging that highlights examples of deceptive or questionable marketing practices involving certain dietary supplements. GAO also reported that some herbal dietary supplements contained contaminants, including trace amounts of lead. According to GAO Managing Director of Forensic Audits and Special Investigations Gregory Kutz, investigators posing as elderly customers asked sales staff at 22 retail establishments a series of questions regarding herbal dietary supplements in addition to reviewing 30 retail websites’ “written marketing language” about the supplements. In several cases that both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission deemed “improper and likely in violation of statutes and regulations,” “written sales materials for products sold through online retailers claimed that herbal dietary supplements could treat, prevent or cure conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.” Improper medical advice was also dispensed by…

An Environmental Health News (EHN) special report has allegedly identified significant lead levels in aged balsamic and other red wine vinegars, noting that “some vinegars had 8-9 times more lead than recommended” by California’s Proposition 65 regulations. The Environmental Health Sciences Foundation purportedly tested a range of domestic and imported vinegars sold in California in 2002, claiming that “for three imported varieties… people who eat one tablespoon per day would be exposed to seven to 10 times the maximum daily level of lead set by California.” Likewise, according to EHN, “eating one tablespoon a day of some balsamic or red wine vinegars can raise a young child’s lead level by more than 30 percent.” Although EHN noted that lead levels in vinegar can “vary widely,” it suggested that “aged varieties produced by the traditional method, which involved concentration in wood barrels for at least 12 years, have the highest levels.”…

Since May 2002 California plaintiffs have reportedly brought enforcement actions against a number of food manufacturers and fast food restaurants claiming that because carcinogens or reproductive toxicants are contained in their products, they are required to provide public warnings under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. This law, also known as Proposition 65 (Prop.65), was approved by state voters in November 1986. It requires the governor to publish a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harms. Companies selling products in California must provide warnings if such substances are contained in their products. Private citizens are empowered under the Act to sue alleged violators to enjoin future violations and obtain civil penalties for past violations. Plaintiffs in American Environmental Safety Institute v. Mars, Inc., No. BC273433 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty., filed May 8, 2002), allege that chocolate contains the…

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