Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Garden of Life & the Natural News Allegations

First, here are some notes about Natural News:

  •  Natural News is run solely by Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger” – who has no accreditation or formal education in food science, nutrition, research, or any related fields.
  • The report promotes using One World Whey and Sproutein brands. Natural News is an online retailer for these two brands (you can see this if you click the “STORE” tab on the site).
  • While Mike Adams claims that three labs tested these proteins with the same results, the only results he references and makes available are the results from “Consumer Wellness Labs”, which is not a third party lab – it is Mike Adams’ own lab.
  • The disclaimer from the Consumer Wellness Labs website outlines the lack of credibility their information holds:
    • “This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. Is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here.”
     Some notes about lead/heavy metal contamination:
  • Proteins, plants, and minerals all are well-known to contain substances that exceed those allowed exposures on the Prop 65 list.
  • Naturally grown plants absorb metals and other trace chemicals from the soil in which they are grown. For example, Prop 65 sets a safe harbor limit of 0.5 mcg of lead per serving, but this limit is far below the amount of lead naturally found in many fruits and vegetables grown on clean, non-contaminated soils.
  • In 2009 the State of California conducted its own food crop soil-lead-uptake analysis (Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129:212-220), and California's experts found that the most commonly consumed vegetables (from 70 different locations), averaged nearly four times the Prop 65 lead limit per serving. When compared with the Prop 65 standards, each serving of potatoes, lettuce, wheat, carrots and many other vegetables would require a lead warning.
  • Remember that Prop 65 regulates exposures, not concentrations and not actual harm or injury. Natural proteins, for example, naturally have high levels of lead. Any process to remove the lead would destroy the protein.
  • For reference, a one-cup serving of green beans contains 28.75 micrograms of lead, which is approximately 50 times the allowed Prop 65 level.
  • If you were paying close attention when you read Mike Adams’ article, you may have noticed that he measured the “contaminants” in ppb, while the industry standard is ppm. This makes the levels look artificially high.
  •  These measurements are incredibly different.

Some notes about “ppb” measurements vs. “ppm”:

o   Analogies for comparison:
§  1 ppm = 1 minute in 2 years
§  1 ppb = 1 second in nearly 32 years

o   For example:
§  246 ppb = Alleged lead content of Raw Protein Vanilla
§  .246 ppm = Alleged lead content of Raw Protein Vanilla when listed in the measurement that is the industry standard

Lastly, we would like to remind you of a few things about Garden of Life:

Garden of Life’s certified USDA organic, non-GMO project verified, vegan Raw Proteins are entirely safe, third party verified, regularly tested, manufactured in third party audited GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified facilities, and most recently, the entire line was certified clean by Informed Choice.

Satterfield, Zane. "What does ppm or ppb mean?"

Sunwarrior. "What is Prop 65?"

Adams, Mike. "Garden of Life RAW Protein products found to contain heavy metals..."

Adams, Mike. "Consumer Wellness Labs Disclaimer"

Special thanks to David from Sundance and my other INFRA colleagues who provided excellent insight. 

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