Lawsuit Filed on Lead-Containing Honey from Major Groceries - Center for Environmental Health

Sassy Nation: A Health Alert

This just in– For all of our sassy honies who fancy the honey with your daily tea. The Center for Environmental Health released this statement the other day:


May 2, 2012

Oakland, CA-Independent testing has found that honey purchased from Ralphs (a Kroger-owned store), Walmart, and Grocery Outlet has been found with high levels of lead, in violation of California law. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced today it has filed lawsuits against Ralph’s and Grocery Outlet for violations of the state’s Proposition 65 law, which limits lead in consumer products to protect children and families from reproductive harm. Walmart’s honey supplier has also been notified of the concern and has been actively engaged with CEH to resolve the problem.

“A bit of honey can help the medicine go down, but it shouldn’t bring a toxic metal like lead along with it,” said Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH. “We’re surprised that a leading company like Ralphs has failed to take action on this health concern for their customers. Ralphs needs to live up to the Kroger claim that “health matters” at their stores.”

CEH purchased honey at Bay Area and Southern California outlets of the retailers beginning last fall and found three brands of honey in violation of California law. Lab testing found that a single tablespoon of Ralphs store-brand honey from Ralphs has more than double the legal limit for lead under California law. The other honey brands had between 1.5 and 2 times the lead limit.

Reports have found that metal barrels that some honey suppliers use for storage contain lead solder, which can leach the toxic metal into the honey. In the legal action, CEH is seeking legally binding agreements that require companies to use non-leaded containers and to test their supplies for lead content, to insure that they meet California safety standards.

Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause learning disorders, brain and nerve damage, hearing problems, stunted growth, and digestive problems. Scientists are increasingly concerned that there is no safe level of lead exposure, especially for young children.

CEH has a fifteen-year track record of protecting communities from the health impacts of toxic pollution and has previously uncovered lead and other toxic health threats to children from wood playground structures, toys, vinyl baby bibs and lunchboxes, imported candies, children’s jewelry, children’s medicines, and many other products. CEH also works with major industries and leaders in green business to promote healthier alternatives to toxic products and practices. In 2010, the San Francisco Business Times bestowed its annual “Green Champion” award to CEH for its work to improve health and the environment in the Bay Area and beyond.

For more information, see


Stay diligent & keep up with the daily sass, join Sassy Nation!/SassyNation