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UPDATE: Garden of Life, SunWarrior, Natural News reach industry-leading agreement for the future of brown rice protein

Tuesday, February 04, 2014
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Garden of Life, RAW Protein, heavy metals

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(NaturalNews) UPDATE: The story which originally appeared here is now irrelevant and has been replaced with this groundbreaking, history-making announcement:

I'm thrilled today to be able to announcing a groundbreaking "industry accord" agreement which will have dramatic, positive ramifications for the future of brown rice protein products sold in the USA and around the world.

Over the last 24 hours, we have diligently worked with Garden of Life and Sunwarrior to reach this pioneering, unprecedented industry agreement. Garden of Life founder Jordan Rubin also worked alongside myself and others in finding the best possible resolution for everyone involved (especially consumers).

Both of these companies understood the concerns we raised regarding the levels of lead, cadmium and tungsten which our forensic food lab identified in their products. They have responded in a commendable, positive manner that I personally am very happy to see because the commitments both companies have now made will have far-reaching, hugely positive implications for all their customers for years to come.

"Mr. Adams' testing highlighted for us the importance of our commitment to support organic practices at the farm-level," said Garden of Life Vice President of Science Jeffrey Brams. He continued to explain that this conversation "deepened our resolve to know each of our farmers personally, supporting them with the best practices, providing long term contracts with stable pricing and requiring them to adhere to the highest fair farming standards. Raw Protein is, remains and always has been safe," Brams explains (see his full statement at the end of this article).

Sunwarrior CEO Russ Crosby also added, "Sunwarrior, in conjunction with Mike Adams, is demanding higher standards in the entire natural foods supply chain process and this begins with the water and soil our ingredients are grown in. This has always been our mission and will continue to be moving into the future."

In essence, Garden of Life and Sunwarrior have agreed that all their protein products will achieve the following heavy metals limits no later than July 1, 2015 (and in reality, we will all very likely see these improvements much sooner due to the dedication of these companies to taking immediate action):

Agreed concentration limits in the final protein products:

Lead limit: 250 ppb
Tungsten limit: 50 ppb
Cadmium limit: 1000 ppb
Mercury limit: 50 ppb

These limits were mutually agreed upon by all three parties, and they represent the most progressive, innovative, self-imposed quality control limits that have ever been announced in the natural products industry.

To achieve these goals, Garden of Life has committed to visiting each farm site where their brown rice material is grown and testing the water feeding each site for possible environmental contaminants including lead, cadmium, tungsten and mercury. Sunwarrior has also committed to being actively involved in the monitoring and site certification effort.

As is now obvious, this is a tremendous victory for health product consumers because it means the largest importers and retailers of brown rice protein material are now taking proactive steps to meet specific targets for product composition. Although this transition will obviously take some time, my understanding is that it is already underway, and once achieved it will mean that for years to come, consumer can come to count on Garden of Life and Sunwarrior's in-house quality control, also knowing that myself and Natural News shall continue to serve as proactive industry watchdogs working in collaboration with ethical companies to achieve pioneering new standards for food safety and composition.

Now that this accord has been achieved, our efforts are now shifting to politely but firmly asking VEGA, Jarrow Formulas, Nutribiotic, Living Fuel, Nutribody Protein, Ultimate Superfood, Boku, Healthforce Warrior Food and other protein companies to also agree to these same limits and join in this industry-wide effort to assure customers that they are consuming the cleanest, most stringently-tested protein products available.

I will be announcing that grassroots effort shortly, and our goal will be to see all the to vegan protein producers in the USA agree to these composition limits.

Also keep in mind that this is a huge victory for the self regulation of the natural product industry which also reinforces the leadership of key players in the natural products industry who have pioneered a new standard which doesn't exist in any other food sector. This victory did not require the involvement of federal regulators, nor any lawsuits or fines. It simply involved responsible, compassionate people who care about their customers sitting down and working out an agreement in the best interests of everyone involved.

For the record, no money changes hands as parts of this agreement. Neither myself nor Natural News have received any compensation whatsoever in all this, and in fact money was never even part of this discussion. I made it very clear right up front that my only goal in this entire effort was to see the interests of the public served in a positive, responsible manner, and I'm very happy to now be able to announce that Garden of Life and Sunwarrior shared in that goal and, accordingly, we have been able to reach this mutual agreement and announce it right now.

Finally, it's worth noting that in all these discussions, no one disagreed with my findings which were published as laboratory results data. There is no dispute about the substance of these scientific findings, there was only polite disagreement and a variance of opinion concerning what the results actually mean in terms of a person's daily food habits. "Raw Protein is, remains and always has been safe," Jeffrey Brams told Natural News. "The test results posted by the Natural News were raw data and not intended to interpret those data points. The data itself is not flawed, but any interpretation that would suggest Raw Protein is unsafe or its quality is in any way compromised is not correct. These products are safe, efficacious and important alternatives in our natural and organic food marketplace."

What we all agreed upon is that meeting these new heavy metals limits will be of great benefit to everyone, and that's all I ever wanted to accomplish with this in the first place. And for the record, it is true that the FDA and USDA currently have no set limits on heavy metals. It is my hope that both of these regulatory agencies will address this soon and set reasonable standards.

I thank you all for your role in helping us achieve this unprecedented, groundbreaking announcing which I suspect will be national news in the days ahead. This is a significant breakthrough for the natural products industry and it demonstrates the commendable leadership of Garden of Life and Sunwarrior in their willingness to respond to a grassroots campaign that was largely powered by YOU!

Together, we have all achieved a lasting victory today for environmental health, consumer safety and honest food. Spread the word by sharing this story and letting people know.

Here's an additional statement from Garden of Life executive Jeffrey Brams that I wanted to make sure was included in this report: "Raw Protein remains and always has been safe. The testing posted by Natural News was raw data and not representative of an expert's interpretation of those data points. We have not reviewed the tests or methods by which they were performed and do not contend the results. However, these results, taken at face value, report levels that are entirely safe. In fact, the amounts reported are generally in line with commonly consumed vegetables. The USDA and FDA do not set specific limits for lead and cadmium, and with regard to tungsten, we are not aware of any government who has been interested in its regulation or concerned over food safety. These products are safe, efficacious and important alternatives in our natural and organic food marketplace."

Q&A: Why did Natural News never voice an opinion on the relative safety of products being tested?

Answer, from our labs site: Unfortunately, legal issues prevent us from making qualitative assessments of foods listed here based on these numbers. In other words, our lawyers told us we should never say whether a particular food is "good" or "bad" based on these numbers. Why is this the case? Because all the world's so-called "authorities" on health totally disagree on what's a safe level of toxic elements in foods. The EPA and FDA, for example, wildly disagree. EU restrictions are very tight, but USDA has no restrictions whatsoever. So there is no consensus even among government entities about the safe amount of a toxic element in a food.

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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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