Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe’s Sell Candies with Lead, Lawsuit Alleges

By on May 2, 2013
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A complaint filed by the state of California claims major retailers such as, Whole Foods Market Inc., Target Corp., Trader Joe’s Co., sell ginger and plum candies that contain lead.   The complaint alleges that the retailers violated the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65, which requires companies to disclose whether lead is contained in candy and food products.

“Lead is a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm,” the complaint stated. “Defendants manufacture, distribute or sell products intended for human consumption including: ginger candies and other food products containing ginger and/or plum candies and other products containing plums.”

Laboratory trials revealed that plum and ginger food products had lead and that consumers who purchased and ate the products were most likely exposed to lead, the complaint stated.

The other defendants include:

  • Dakota Brothers doing business as Marina Foods
  • Food Market Management Inc.
  • Island Pacific Supermarket
  • JFC International Inc.
  • Kam Lee Yuen Trading Co.
  • Longchamp Corp. doing business as Lion Supermarket
  • Reed’s Inc.
  • Tawa Supermarket doing business as 99 Ranch Market

The products identified in the complaint include:

  • Sweet Fruit Ginger
  • Sweet Fruit Licorice Lemon Ginger
  • The Ginger People Baker’s Cut Crystallized Ginger Chips
  • Dynasty Sugar Ginger
  • Ginger Candy
  • Plum Candy
  • Red Plum Candy
  • Reed’s Crystallized Ginger
  • Archer Farms Crystallized Ginger
  • Red Lantern Plum Candy
  • Sliced Sweet Ginger
  • Sweet and Sour Prune
  • Dried Seedless Plum
  • Whole Foods Bulk Ginger

The state of California is also alleging violations of the state’s Unfair Competition Act, which says “unfair competition shall mean and include unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business practice.”

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