Unlike other cases under Prop 65, a new case was opened this week concerning lead found in baby food, fruit juice, and canned fruit. The case is about whether or not companies should be held responsible for failing to notify consumers of toxins found in its products.
Prop 65 originally focused on protecting drinking water and to reduce and label products that involved lead and other harmful toxins. Now, it has expanded to the food platform, holding companies responsible for warning the public of unsafe levels of cancer-causing or reproductively toxic chemicals in their products.
Plaintiff, nonprofit Environmental Law Foundation (ELF), is up against major companies such as Dole Food Co. and Gerber Products Co. who have turned to Morrison & Foerster LLP, to defend their case.
The ELF claims there are unsafe lead levels in over 100 company products. They believe that companies need to improve its processes to reduce these lead levels. Companies have two costly options: label products with a warning or spend time and money to reduce lead levels.
In defense, companies argue lead levels are so low that a warning is unneeded since it naturally occurs in the environment. They also stated that they maintain a good agricultural and manufacturing process to avoid lead contamination.
Exposure to lead may lead to miscarriages and organ damage in adults. For children, brain damage and slowed growth, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Similar to the new lead case is the continued fight to end asbestos and spread awareness of its related diseases. Most companies find proper removal of the toxic fiber to be too costly and choose to ‘not disturb it’. For many victims and its secondary asbestos exposure patients, taking the easy route does nothing but prolong a much needed solution.
As people discover the prevalence of toxins in our environment, it becomes an issue of concern for the government to take action.
If you or your loved one has been affected by asbestos or have a case involving wrongful death, contact Brayton Purcell to discover what your legal rights are. We are committed to providing our clients with excellent representation and service upholding to the highest ethical standards.
Source: Smith, Fiona. “Rare Toxics Trial Set to Start over Lead in Baby Food, Fruit Juice and Canned Fruit.” Daily Journal (2013): n. pag. 4 Apr. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2013.