Environmental group As You Sow has filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the manufacturer of Soylent, a food substitute product, for alleged failure to warn that the powder contains lead and cadmium exceeding levels considered safe under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop. 65).
The product at issue is Soylent 1.5, which As You Sow alleges contains 12 to 25 times the safe-harbor level of lead and four times the safe-harbor level of cadmium, according to two samples reportedly tested by an independent laboratory. “These heavy metals accumulate in the body over time and, since Soylent is marketed as a meal replacement, users may be chronically exposed to lead and cadmium concentrations that exceed California’s safe harbor level (for reproductive harm),” As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar said in an August 12, 2015, press release. “With stories about Silicon Valley coders sometimes eating three servings a day, this is of very high concern to the health of these tech workers.” Details about the media attention garnered by Soylent upon its 2014 release appear in Issue 523 of this Update.