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Lead in Baby Food and Other Children's Food

Update July 2013

Tentantive Statement of Decision

UPDATE April 2013

For more information on lead in baby foods and other children's foods:


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redwoodsWe believe in protecting the environment, communities, and consumers against harmful toxics. Our work consistently improves environmental quality for those most at risk by providing access to information, strategies and enforcement of environmental, toxics, and community right-to-know laws.


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Current Cases


(current case)

On September 28, 2011 the Environmental Law Foundation filed a lawsuit alleging the toxic chemical lead was found in a variety of children's and baby foods. The food categories are: grape juice, packaged pears and peaches, fruit cocktail, and baby foods containing carrots peaches, pears and sweet potatoes. The lawsuit seeks warning labels on the offending foods under Proposition 65, the Toxics Right to Know law. The lawsuit can be found [here]. A list of all the products tested, including those that do not require a warning for lead and those that do, can be found [here]. Information and FAQs about the testing program and law can be found [here]. More about our co-counsel Baron and Budd.



(current decision)

In 2009, ELF, on behalf of a coalition of Native Americans, environmentalists and fishermen from across the State, was granted a preliminary injunction that required the Department of Fish and Game to stop issuing any permits for suction dredge mining.  A month later, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a new bill that required even current permit holders to immediately cease all suction dredge mining.  Both acts effectively ban all suction dredge mining on all waters throughout the state of California until the Department of Fish and Game conducts an environmental review of its permitting program, adopts new regulations that protect fish and their habitat from the harmful impacts of suction dredging, and all challenges to those new regulations are resolved.

The miners have brought legal challenges to both the injunction and the legislation.  We effectively defeated the challenge to the legislation and the law is still in effect.  The challenge to the court order is currently being fought in the appellate court, but we believe that the superior court’s ruling was soundly based and will withstand the challenge. 

Meanwhile, ELF with a large coalition of tribes, environmentalists and fishermen from all over California and Oregon are working in the regulatory process to ensure that Fish and Game’s draft environmental report and draft regulations, released to the public in March of 2011, will safeguard fish and other species and their habitat from the destructive impacts of suction dredge mining.


(protecting groundwater through the Public Trust Doctrine)

ELF, along with Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Institute for Fisheries Resources, filed a lawsuit against the State Water Resources Control Board and Siskiyou County for violations of the California Public Trust Doctrine. The State and County have failed to manage groundwater extractions in the Scott River sub-basin in a manner consistent with their duties under the Public Trust Doctrine. As a result, numerous wells extract groundwater during irrigation season which cause a decreased flow in the Scott River, which injures the river’s populations of salmon and steelhead. This lawsuit seeks both declaratory and injunctive relief and hopes to protect the Scott River through better groundwater management by these responsible public entities. Additional information can be found here.



ELF Protects
ELF Protects Communities   ELF Protects Consumers   ELF Protects The Environment
ELF Protects Communities ELF and others forced Unocal to clean up a huge underground oil spill, in which much of the town of Avila Beach was dug up, cleaned up and replaced. Details   ELF Protects ConsumersELF and NRDC tested hundreds of bottled waters, finding that 25% had unlawful contamination. When ELF sued the companies with arsenic, every one cleaned up their act. Details   ELF Protects the Environment ELF convinced cruise ship lines to stop dumping foreign ballast water to eliminate the risk of non-native invasive species infiltrating California waterways. Details