USA attorney general has accused several large California grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, of selling lead-tainted ginger and plum candies in a case that underscores how little consumers know about the food they eat.
The lawsuit, filed April 30 in San Francisco Superior Court, argues that Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, 99 Ranch Market, Island Pacific Supermarket, Marina Food and other retailers have been selling candy, snacks and bulk food made with ginger or dried plums that contains dangerously high levels of lead.
These companies did not alert customers to the lead, the suit charges, and that violates California’s Proposition 65 – which requires businesses to warn consumers about harmful toxins in food, toys, jewelry and other products.
Lead-tainted food can end up in customers’ shopping carts more easily than they think, said Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union and a national expert on food safety. He said many retailers get products, particularly those made with ginger, from Asia, where food is less expensive and often produced in contaminated environments with little oversight.
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