Garden of Life RAW Protein (my favorite smoothie product, til today) found to contain heavy metals, such as tungsten, lead, and cadmium


UPDATE 2/12/2016….. Garden of recalls raw meal products to Salmonella outbreak read more here….(just stating opinion here, but I do think Garden of Life did try to straighten up its act and "go clean", but they may have been victims of "Corporate Sabotage", in that when companies try to do the right thing, their healthy products get sabotaged and discredited by covert Big Business entities that wanna keep using unhealthy cheap products, often from China, to increase profits. I think this is what also happened to Chipotle, but let's not get too wrapped up into that here, cause what we have to deal with here is almost too much to for the mind to handle, let's just look at what can be proven……)


UPDATE 11/16/2015….. Garden of life claims its products to now be "Clean" (though page no longer on Garden of Life website)


UPDATE 2/6/2014…..Garden of Life, SunWarrior, Natural News reach industry-leading agreement for the future of brown rice protein…..
read more here


…cheap brown rice protein from Southeast Asia seems to be the culprit, in America's #1 selling Vegan Raw Protein

Note: many of the links in this article may be disabled, because Natural News has removed them, I assume as part of the deal with Garden of Life, they have even removed this article form their website, but I wanted to post it exactly as I copied it before they deleted it.

Well hey, I got burned on this one, although I am lucky to take chlorella everyday to help remove heavy metals from the body, but I will stop using Garden of Life Protien immediately. This is why I stay diligent in understanding what I put in my body……………..

I would also be concerned for any protein powder or smoothie mix, since brown rice protein is in many products and many other products can be affected.

This entire article was pulled totally from Natural News.

(NaturalNews) Natural News has confirmed, via three different laboratories, the presence of significant levels of the heavy metals tungsten, lead and cadmium in Garden of Life "beyond organic" raw protein products. This has been confirmed across multiple lots of Garden of Life Original, Vanilla and Chocolate Cacao and Vanilla Spiced Chai. Tungsten has also been found and confirmed in Garden of Life "Raw Fit" products.

Of all the products we have tested at the Consumer Wellness Center laboratories, I have never seen any product with higher levels of tungsten, lead and cadmium. Garden of Life products we tested showed the highest levels of heavy metals that we've ever seen across all foods including junk foods, dairy products and fast food.

Click here to see the laboratory results chart.

In one lot we tested (E2694A), we found concentrations so high that:

• Lead intake from a single serving exceeds California Prop 65 limits for dietary supplements by 2,700%.

• Cadmium intake from a single serving exceeds California Prop 65 limits for dietary supplements by over 1,000%.

• Tungsten concentrations were so high that they exceeded the lead concentration by nearly 2,000%.

Click here to see the full results at

Keep in mind that lab results may differ slightly from lab to lab, and product composition may also vary slightly from one container to the next. So just to be sure of these findings, I had Garden of Life products tested at three different laboratories including a university laboratory which confirmed my findings.

Here are some of the products in which we have confirmed significant concentrations of tungsten, lead and cadmium:


Health Ranger the only food scientist researching tungsten in dietary supplements

Presently, I am the only food scientist in the world who is routinely testing for tungsten in foods and dietary supplements in the interests of public health and safety. FDA, USDA and EPA do not (yet) conduct these tests on a routine basis. No university is engaged in this testing, and no non-profit is currently conducting such tests either.

Natural News is the exclusive source where these results can be found, and you can see all the results at

PR Newswire informed Natural News today that they were banning Natural News for life for releasing these scientific findings. The blatant censorship of this information, in other words, has already begun, and intense efforts will be made by powerful corporations to prevent you from learning these scientifically-validated facts about the foods and dietary supplements you are eating.

You can help my efforts to protect all consumers from heavy metals by sharing this article via social media, email, Twitter and other methods. Just like we all have the right to know whether there are GMOs in our foods, we also have the right to know if foods or dietary supplements contain lead, cadmium, tungsten or other heavy metals.

Multiple lots and products from Garden of Life confirmed to contain significant concentrations of tungsten, lead and cadmium

Laboratory tests conducted at the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center have now confirmed the presence of significant levels of tungsten, lead and cadmium in: (click each link to see the actual results from our lab testing)

Garden of Life Raw Protein Original

Garden of Life Raw Protein Chocolate Cacao

Garden of Life Raw Protein Vanilla Spiced Chai

Garden of Life Raw Protein Vanilla

Significant concentrations of the heavy metal tungsten have also been confirmed in Garden of Life "Raw Fit" products.

Brown rice protein used by Garden of Life believed to come from SE Asia

According to my sources, the brown rice protein used by Garden of Life for their protein products is grown in several different countries in SE Asia. I was not able to confirm whether this includes China, a nation which is now infamous for producing and exporting contaminated foods.

The brown rice protein is listed on Garden of Life products as, "organic sprouted brown rice protein," and Garden of Life labels claim the material is "raw" — a term which is not defined by the FDA and which is loosely thrown around the natural products industry. There are currently no regulations regarding what materials can be labeled "raw" or "sprouted."

Garden of Life made aware of this on Jan. 30, 2014 and urged to issue voluntary recall

I contacted Garden of Life to make the company aware of these issues on or about January 30, 2014. In the time since then, Garden of Life has responded with serious concern and told me they were: 1) Sending samples of their products to several different labs for additional testing. 2) Contracting with a food science organization in an attempt to determine whether tungsten posed a safety concern in the opinion of these scientists.

In the week or so since then, I have been in touch with Garden of Life and have asked for an on-the-record statement from them regarding these findings. I also informed them I had a moral obligation to go public with these findings in the public interest, and that I would do so in the immediate future. I also urged them to issue a voluntary recall of all their protein products in the interests of public safety.

So far, Garden of Life has not informed me of any on-the-record statement, decision or course of action regarding these issues. Once we hear from Garden of Life, we will of course share that information with Natural News readers.

Findings appear to be limited to brown rice protein ingredients

Based on my food science research, this issue of tungsten, lead and cadmium at significant concentrations appears to be limited only to the brown rice protein used by Garden of Life in their product formulations.

We have tested several other Garden of Life products (results to be published soon) and have not found tungsten in those products.

I am urging Natural News readers not to leap to the inaccurate conclusion that all Garden of Life products contain these heavy metals in such concentrations. However, all Garden of Life RAW Protein products must now be treated with caution because every lot of the protein we have tested has revealed significant concentrations of tungsten, lead and cadmium.

By comparison, we recently tested One World Whey protein and found it to contain virtually zero lead, cadmium and tungsten.

Here's the chart of our findings with Garden of Life RAW Protein: (article continues below…)

What are the effects of eating significant amounts of tungsten?

Tungsten is an industrial heavy metal with no known nutritive applications. According to a Public Health Statement at the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry:

• "Tungsten and its alloys are used as light bulb filaments, as the part of x-ray tubes where x-rays are formed, as a catalyst to speed up chemical reactions, as a component of steel in high-speed tools, in turbine blades, in phonographic needles, as welding electrodes, as gyroscope wheels, as counterbalance and fishing weights, in darts, and in golf club components."

• "Animal studies have shown that tungsten in the blood of a pregnant mother can enter the blood of a fetus in the womb. Studies in dairy cows have shown that tungsten may also enter the milk."

• "Tungsten compounds have caused breathing problems and changed behavior in some animals given very large amounts of tungsten compounds…"

Tungsten is also used to make bullet weights as shown in the image on the right.

Tungsten linked to a doubling of stroke risk

According to a study of 8,600 Americans published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE (Jessica Tyrrell, Tamara S. Galloway, Ghada Abo-Zaid, David Melzer, Michael H. Depledge, Nicholas J. Osborne. High Urinary Tungsten Concentration Is Associated with Stroke in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2010. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (11): e77546 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077546), increased tungsten exposure is linked to increased stroke risk.

As stated in the abstract of the published science paper:

In recent years there has been an exponential increase in tungsten demand, potentially increasing human exposure to the metal. Currently, the toxicology of tungsten is poorly understood, but mounting evidence suggests that both the elemental metal and its alloys have cytotoxic effects. Here, we investigate the association between tungsten and cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke using six waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The conclusions of the paper were as follows:

Elevated tungsten concentrations were strongly associated with an increase in the prevalence of stroke, independent of typical risk factors (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.66, 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI): 1.17, 2.34). The association between tungsten and stroke in the young age category was still evident (OR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.33, 3.53).

This study represents the most comprehensive analysis of the human health effects of tungsten to date. Individuals with higher urinary tungsten concentrations have double the odds of reported stroke. We hypothesize that the pathological pathway resulting from tungsten exposure may involve oxidative stress.

The following chart shows the increased stroke risk found by the study authors to be associated with tungsten intake:

Tungsten called "an emerging chemical toxicant" capable of "disruption of biochemical pathways"

The study goes on to describe how tungsten may become an environmental contaminant affecting waterways:

…tungsten should be considered as an emerging chemical toxicant of concern, [2] as its chemical stability in the environment has been questioned. When soil pH falls, tungsten becomes increasingly soluble and can leach into underlying aquifers [3]. With production of tungsten steadily rising (72,000 tons produced last year compared to 40,000 tons in 2002 [4]), and use becoming more widespread, the potential for tungsten to further contaminate the environment is increasing. Tungsten is known to be capable of biological interaction and disruption of biochemical pathways and therefore the human health impact must be considered.

The brown rice protein used in Garden of Life products is derived from rice plants which consume an enormous amount of water during growing. It is well established that heavy metals found in water used to irrigate rice plants may be taken up by those plants and incorporated into the plant material. Rice, for example, has been studied by Consumer Reports and many rice products have been found to contain levels of arsenic so high that Consumer Reports urged the FDA to set federal limits on the contaminant.

Click here to see the Consumer Reports arsenic results.

Yet the arsenic found by Consumer Reports is small compared to the tungsten we have found in Garden of Life RAW Protein products. For example, Consumer Reports arsenic results show concentrations of around 50 – 500 ppb. Yet the tungsten concentrations we have found in Garden of Life RAW Protein products, on the other hand, range from around 2,000 ppb – 10,000 ppb.

In other words, we are finding tungsten concentrations at up to 2,000% higher than arsenic found by Consumer Reports in rice products.

Government regulators have virtually no limits on tungsten, lead, cadmium or other heavy metals

Neither the FDA nor the USDA has any published limits concerning tungsten or any other heavy metal in protein products. Protein products in the USA can be "USDA certified organic" and yet contain virtually unlimited levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, tungsten, arsenic or other toxic substances.

All the Garden of Life products tested in this investigation were USDA certified organic and non-GMO Project Verified, further demonstrating surprising gaps in the USDA organic certification process — a process which involves no testing whatsoever of the end products which are "certified organic."

Technically, farmers could irrigate their crops with industrial waste water that's heavily contaminated with mercury, lead or other heavy metals… and still have those crops certified organic by the USDA and sold with the USDA Organic seal.

Misleading claims by Garden of Life?

Garden of Life describes their products as "beyond organic," USDA certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. These claims seem to imply that the product is somehow not only cleaner than conventionally-raised protein products but even cleaner than organic products.

Yet my investigation found this to simply be untrue. For example, our tests of One World Whey Protein products found the Vanilla and Strawberry products contained zero lead, zero cadmium and zero tungsten.

Similarly, a Sproutein protein product from Sprout Living was found to contain just 60 ppb of Cadmium and 59 ppb of Lead.

Compared to this sprout protein product, Garden of Life Raw Protein is almost 1,000% higher in lead and over 3,000% higher in cadmium.

Garden of Life's claim that their RAW Protein products are "beyond organic" seems to be based on marketing hype rather than scientific fact. Although the term "organic" is heavily regulated by the USDA, the phrase, "beyond organic" appears to have been dreamed up by Garden of Life's marketing team with no basis in regulatory compliance. Nowhere has Garden of Life defined what "beyond organic" really means, and to see this phrase applied to a line of products currently found to contain the highest levels of heavy metals we've ever found in any foods we've tested is not just concerning… it's "beyond concerning."

If you are eating Garden of Life RAW Protein products, you may be eating significant quantities of lead, cadmium and tungsten

The bottom line in this investigation is that every Garden of Life RAW Protein product we have tested so far has been found to contain significant levels of lead, cadmium and tungsten — all heavy metals with scientifically-validated toxic effects on human biology when consumed in high enough concentrations.

"It is clear from many decades of research on heavy metal toxicity that lead, cadmium, nickel, aluminum, arsenic …are being used more and more in industry in the production of materials, batteries, electronics and more," Dr. Allen Green M.D. told Natural News. Dr. Green is the President of the Board of Directors of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, a network of integrative medicine practitioners, physicians and doctors who specialize in removing heavy metals from the body. He is also the founder of the Center for Optimum Health in Los Angeles, California.

"There's nothing good about these metals in living systems," Dr. Green continues. "They are toxic, whether you're a single-celled organism or a complex organism like humans. Metals tend to accumulate in us through our lifetimes. As we get exposed, they tend to stick in our body. Although some might leave [the body], for many people the continued exposure outweighs the removal by the body. So therefore we have an increasing burden by the body. Many of these metals tend to be fat soluble, so they settle in fatty tissue, including brain and nerve tissue. That might also explain why these metals so often cause neurologic damage, because the content of brain and nerve tissue is very high in fat. We have pretty good evidence that metals like cadmium, lead and mercury increase risk for various types of cancers. They affect our cells' mitochondria, which is where energy production takes place in the cell, so it's not unusual for many physiologic processes to be affected by these metals."

What if raw, organic vegan proteins actually contributed to your heavy metals burden?

What's especially concerning about this is that people who buy organic vegetarian, vegan or "raw" products are generally the very same people who go to great lengths to avoid contaminants in food such as hormones in milk, pesticides in fresh product, BPA in plastic packaging and so on. Health-conscious consumers have generally come to trust the Garden of Life brand as being a "cleaner" brand of dietary supplements and superfoods. Yet it now appears that Garden of Life has failed to protect its own customers from some of the most concerning things that people seek to avoid in foods: lead, cadmium and even the industrial heavy metal tungsten.

At this point, an informed consumer must begin to question the in-house quality control process of the Garden of Life company and its many products. The question must be asked: "Why did we hear about this first from Natural News and the Health Ranger instead of from Garden of Life?"

In other words, why wasn't Garden of Life testing their own products for all these metals before placing them on retail shelves at health food retailers like Whole Foods? Or if Garden of Life was testing their products, why did they think these levels of heavy metals were okay for their customers to consume? And how exactly did the company justify it's "beyond organic" claim if it knew about these levels of heavy metals? I suspect the company probably was not aware of the tungsten found in its products, but it almost certainly had to be aware of the lead and cadmium levels, as those are commonly tested by all food science labs.

The Garden of Life website promotes these RAW Protein products with marketing text such as:

"It's not only what RAW Protein contains, it's also about what it doesn't contain — there are no fillers, no artificial flavors and no synthetic ingredients and it's gluten-free and dairy-free." [Note that it does not say no lead, no cadmium and no tungsten.]

"So for those looking for highly nutritious, nutrient-dense, easily digestible, high quality protein nutrition, look no further than RAW Protein from Garden of Life."

Surely, we all have many questions for Jordan Rubin and Garden of Life right now. [Update: Jordan Rubin has contacted Natural News and informed us that “[he] resigned from Garden of Life in August of 2013. Since 2010, Jordan has had no involvement in the process of procurement or testing of raw materials used in Garden of Life products.”]

We can only hope the company takes responsibility for this and issues a voluntary recall as a starting point for its action plan. Obviously, the company also needs to enhance its in-house quality control measures. There's also the lingering question of how, exactly, are consumers supposed to now remove all the tungsten from their bodies?

ACAM physicians and practitioners are experts at heavy metals removal from the body, so I personally urge any Natural News reader who is concerned about heavy metals detoxification to find an ACAM-certified practitioner in their local area by calling 1-800-LEAD-OUT1-800-LEAD-OUT or visiting

Action items regarding Garden of Life Raw Protein products


1) If you are currently consuming any of the proteins mentioned here, and you wish to halt your exposure to dietary tungsten, stop eating these products immediately.

2) You may wish to return these products to the store where you purchased them. Bring a copy of this article and explain that these products may contain tungsten, a heavy metal linked to increased stroke risk, as well as significantly levels of cadmium and lead.

3) Contact Garden of Life directly and ask that they improve their in-house quality control measures to ensure they never again sell products containing such levels of heavy metals to their customers:

Garden of Life "contact us" link:…

4) Share this article with everyone you know. The effort that went into this investigation and this story was done entirely in the public interest. Because we are using scientific methods to investigate the food supply and warn the public, we are being heavily censored by PR Newswire and other media outlets which operate in collusion with corporate interests. Please recognize how rare it is that somebody does something these days solely because it is the right thing to do. You can help support our ongoing consumer watchdog efforts by sharing this story and related elements:

Share the lab results page for Garden of Life protein products:…

Share the chart showing the lab test results:…

Or watch the video here (this link is still active for now):





Sources for this article include:

Heavy metal photos courtesy of

High Urinary Tungsten Concentration Is Associated with Stroke in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2010. PLoS ONE, 2013…

Public Health Statement regarding Tungsten at the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry…

Tungsten, lead and cadmium laboratory results

Consumer Reports – Arsenic In Your Rice…

The American College for Advancement in Medicine


Once again, this entire article was taken from and article in Natural News


~stay healthy~


check out all my articles in "Eat Smart", the science of food (click here or on the photo below)

34 Responses


I think it would be much better – and it would make much more sense –  to get protein from real food and not from processed one -I know what you are going to say… it is raw, and so on,  but in my opinion,  any food that cannot be made in my own kitchen is processed (and I could go as far as saying  that the moment any food is changed from its natural status is processed – juices and smoothies included)  unless I eat it straight from the plant.
Thinking of it,  many of us that don't like to use processed food, or big pharma drugs or non-organic supplements, still fall in the market trap: a lot of the supplements, protein powders, alternative remedies  and so can actually be obtained from real food.
And have you ever thought why "alternative" companies make spirulina, protein powders and all the rest? Call me cynical, but I'm pretty sure they don't give a damn about your or my health, they just know that there is a market out there to make money on…


Not an invalid or cynical reply all. I’m pretty pissed and cynical after finding out all this info. But, as a matter of fact, I follow your policy with all my other eating issues, believe it or not Protein Powder is the only not “Whole Food/Real Food” I put in my body. For example I eat all real foods to get all my vitamins, since I’m not a big fan of vitamin supplements. When I got deep into Vitamin D, and found it depletes the body of the all important magnesium, most sources suggested magnesium supplements. However, I dive into magnesium rich foods like dates, basil, pumpkin seeds, figs and others. Took a magnesium test, and my scores were great. Now as far as protein powders, I do agree that you have to understand why you are using them. For me I got into them to not have to consume so much animal protein, which is totally valid to me. I think protein powders are a very good option, especially because I can get other essential whole foods into my smoothie, i.e. maca, reshi mushrooms, clhorella, acai, and many others that I would not get on a daily basis. But I do agree you have to know what the heck is in these things. It doesn’t mean they are all a scam, but yes, many (probably more than 50%) are taking advantage of consumers and you have to be diligent. However you have to have that fortitude with real food also, farmed salmon being sold as wild caught, irradiated and sulfured fruit, and a gazillion other things. The big downside to Garden of Life is that it is such a highly touted company, one you assume you can trust. I think quality protein powders work great in smoothies in the morning and after workout, because the nutrients are more easily absorbed and assimilated than meats at those critical times (of course the lead in Garden of Life is not so easily absorbed LOL!!) One thing I think protein powder users can do is to find out the minimum protein they need daily, because we may not need as much as we think we do. As we learn, we make adjustments, and admit our screw ups. I’m gonna stick with quality protein powder, but do my due diligence. Anyhoo, thanks for commenting, varied opinions are always welcome here, thats how we all learn something……..and since I just got burned by Garden of Life Protein, I’m obviously still learning.


P.S. forgot to say… Your blog is really interesting! 


This story has gotten much worse in the past few days, and the attempt to cover everything up is sickening.  That is why the video you have published on this page doesn't work anymore.  If you want to see the original, go here


Thanks for sending me this link. I added it inside my post. I am actually glad to see someone as pissed off as I am. I know I have a right to be, considering I have been putting this stuff in my body everyday for three straight years, having switched from Nutiva Hemp since Garden of Life was promoted as such a better product and complete protein. Also ironic that these tests say Nutiva has very few toxins at all………..sigh ~stay healthy~


I am so disgusted and appalled by all this. Also, I have been a dedicated consumer of Garden of Life products.  Having an autoimmune disease, I have gone to great lengths to eat as healthy and clean as possible and have used their powders as supplements in the morning and when traveling (nearly daily)…and to think they could be contributing to my condition is leveling.
Great article, however as I am sure you know by now that nearly all of the links have been taken down or changed.  This move to me completely puts natural news' credibility in question.  Praising them for their amazing "PR" move is wearisome.  An agreement for better standards is great….but having been a part of similar "agreements" in various industries as a marketing and strategy partnership professional…it is quite laughable.   They need to pull their products off shelves, do a recall for the ones out there with refunds, apologize and take true responsibility.  Shame on them also for "not knowing their farmers" as well as they should.  If this were another industry (auto, oil, airline)..the mainstream media and public would be caring pitchforks and torches…it baffles me how big and deep the cover-ups go in the food industry and Garden of Life should fall from grace because of this. 


SO WELL SAID!!!! It’s almost like I wrote that except for the autoimmune disease part. I was taking this junk in twice a day for three years. Just hoping the chlorella was keeping those metals out of my body. I will add to the article that the links are broken, so thanks!!! but I’m lucky that I copied the article as soon as read it. I went into my blog and removed all references to Garden of Life, in my smoothie articles and such. The funny part is that even buying it in the first place wasn’t even necessary for me, because I started taking it because someone said hemp protein is not a complete protein. That is debatable in that its an issue of two amino acids being somewhat sparse in hemp. I’ve learned since then that other things I eat plentifully, i.e., wild caught salmon, pumpkin seeds, and eggs and right in those two amino acids that are sparse in hemp, and all my amino acids don’t have to be taken at the same time, just get all of them in a day. The same study in this article said Nutiva Hemp was almost devoid of lead and heavy metals, Nutiva was the powder I was using before garden of life….sigh. Thanks for the comments, glad to see someone as pissed off as I am……………….


Thank You, Thank You so much for your diligent effort in researching this product.  I just purchased the Raw Fit at King Soopers grocery store in Greeley CO and something told me to read up on this product prior to openng and now here I am so glad I listened to my instinct.  I will be returning the product un opened and I will provide them with this article in hopes that they will remove said products off their shelf.  Could you please share an alternative to Raw Fit?  I was looking for something in the way of all that Raw Fit indicates it offers.  I had been using Slim Fast, but wanted something natural, healthy, but tasty for my daily shakes.  Looking forward to any suggestions you may have that do not contain such horrible ingredients. I am so set back by his and could only expect that Garden Of Life would do the right thing and pull all these products as well as manufacture their ingredients with a verified qualiy company.  Great job!!   Your Comments


One more statement if I may of March 24, 2014.  As I look at the packaging it indicates USDA Organic, Non GMO, RAW Food Dietary Supplement, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free,High Protein For Weight Loss, Satisfies Hunger, Fights Cravings and Low Clycemic Index.  I mean this company says it all with regards to what so many are attempting to strive for in a healthier food consumption and lifestyle.  So now I look at it as pure "lies" to the consumers.  How are we to know what is real and what is not!? How are we to know of the terribly harmful hidden added ingredients!? Your Comments


Well Said!!! I think that is why I was so pissed off about it all, and also the fact that I had been taking it for three years. I suppose from their point of view, lead and heavy metals are organic, so technically they are not lying on their packaging. So far as RawFit is concerned, I am not familiar with that one, so I probably won’t be the best person to offer a suggestion. Hopefully, if another reader can help you out, they will comment here. I went back to hemp protein and adding my own additional ingredients like cacao, chlorella, pumpkin and much more healthy favorites.


This makes me so angry, as it only serves to further discredit the dietary supplement industry. Why wasn't this company testing their own raw materials BEFORE packaging them? Their response to this fiasco contains further BS about their supplier agreeing to meet a limit of 1,000 ppb cadmium from now on … well, that is 22 mcg/day, which is over FIVE times the Prop 65 limit of 4.1 mcg/day! They need to set much lower limits for their raw materials, or reduce their serving size. The label also says to take one serving OR MORE per day, which leaves it open to the consumer's interpretation. If the consumer takes two servings per day, they are doubling their cadmium intake to 44 mcg/day!! And then they go on to say this is not toxic and completely safe … yes, I am sure CA came up with the 4.1 mcg/day limit out of thin air. Personally, I take Source Naturals Brown Rice Protein, since I know they test each incoming lot for heavy metals. Whichever brown rice protein product you choose, make sure it meets CA Prop 65 limits and does not bear the Prop 65 warning on the label.


That’s right get pissed!!! Let it out!!! Imagine how pissed you would be if you were like me, taking this crap twice a day for three years. If I wouldn’t have happened actoss that article, I could have some ailment 10 years down the road and have no idea how you got it. It wasn’t even necessary that I ever needed to take it, because I got into it because I thought I needed a “complete protein”, but the hemp that I was taking before was “marginally complete”, being light in two aming acids Lusine and Leucine (some sources say Hemp is complete, others not, but if you look at the article, the very same Nutiva hemp I was using before Garded of Life tested to almose zero toxins). However, I learned other foods like salmon, eggs, pumpkin seed, and others that I regularly eat give me those to amino acids, Lusine and Leucine, and you just have to get them all in during the day, they all don’t have to be in the same meal………………in the end this is all so scary, Garden of Life was a company that suckered me in to believing they were a progressive company that was elite, now I’m kinda paranoid about all my favorite companies. I’ll check Source Naturals, I always percieved them as a good company, I consistently buy their Yaeyama Chlorella.

Thanks for the great Comment!!!!! ~stay healthy~


My spouse and I had our Mercury levels tested about a year ago or a little more as part of our regular checkup. They tested zero levels. After taking Garden of Life Raw Protein for a year my left eye started twitching and I had severe stomach aches. My spouse developed dark circles around the eyes that never went away. Eventually she was unable to heal from a common flu. Went back to the doctor who tested for everything after 3 rounds of antibiotics didn't help. Sure enough we both had Mercury poisoning. My spouse had nearly double the Mercury as I did and I believe this was because I took 1 scoop when she took 2. I took one because 2 made my shake too thick. We are still healing and it's been about 5 months now. We are taking lots of stuff to push the metals out. What a shame!! We trusted them with our lives. I hope sharing our story in encourages others to get tested for heavy metals and to stop taking this protein powder.


Thank you or a VERY, important message and comment That Garden of Life fiasco is so SCARY, especially since I was using it for years. Make sure you look into cilantro for continued pulling of heavy metals from your body along with chlorella. The funny thing was that just by change I ran across that  Garden of Life pin on Pinterest. But then again, I’m sure it was meant for me to find out about it. The funny thing is it was I learned never necessary for me to take G-of-Life, I was only trying to take in a complete protein powder, I have since learned and long as you get all your essential amino acids throughout the day from different sources, all the amino acids don’t have to be in your protein powder, so I’m back to hemp powder. Good luck with you guys detox  ~stay healthy~


Only 5 months until Mike Adams from Natural News Labs will re-test the Garden of Life and Sun Warrior products to see if they're using CLEAN food, or just doing business as usual, even though it's almost certainly harming people.


Thanks for the comment, because I didn’t have it in my head when the “new product” was coming around. I think I wanna do a follow up article.

Doug at Gaia Health Blog



I'm completely disgusted also. What gets me is after this information was made public, Garden of Life says they sent their product to 3 separate labs for testing.  Really?  They are so concerned about promoting good health "beyond organic" for the public that they had to send out their product because they didn't already know the integrity of the ingredients? They believed cheap food products purchased from China were healthy?  Whether they knew or not, both scenarios show they are not concerned about the consumer's health as much as making big money. Another company full of deception,  and I am just so very disappointed. 


Hey N MAdrid,

Well said!!! Keep in mind I was putting that crap in my body for 3 years. All I can do is look at it from the point of view that when you get screwed, you move to a higher level of awareness. I am not putchasing most of my products where I can verify thta they don’t have toxins, I find many of my products via Natural News, and Consumer Labs such as “Clean Chlorella” at the Natural News site.

~stay healthy~




Garden of Life has a new product out that does not contain rice:  Organic Plant Protein.  It does, however, contain moringa leaf, which is a wonderful nutritionally dense food, but some sources of it are contaminated with lead.  I found out about that when I noticed a can of moringa leaf powder at Whole Foods in Brentwood California had a state-mandated Prop 65 warning on it that it included materials known to be reproductive toxins.

That gives rise to two questions: 1) Why don't Garden of Life products have to have similar Prop 65 postings? 2) Is the moringa leaf used in Garden of Life's Organid Plant Protein similarly contaminated?

Garden of Life would not release the results of 3rd party testing for heavy metals on this product when I called.


Hi Mary,

I just don’t know about Garden of Life. After ingesting their Lead Laced Raw Protein for 4 straight years, I’m just hoping to get away from them without having developed a Tumor. Garden of Life has an opportunity to do as they said, which is “Set a New Standard” with quality products and testing and so forth, but I can’t say I trust them right now, unless I start to see the results of testing.

Bu tI am doing the same thing you are doing know, I purchased a banana powder (to help sweeten my smoothies), contacted them and ask can I verify the powder is 100% organic, is there a certification of that, and is there any test lab results to confirm all that. I didn’t hear back from them. So I have to deal with them as appropriate. I’m starting to purchase products to Natural, such as their Clean Chlorella, and others, that is the way to go for me right now. At some point, every product I put in my body will have gone through reliable testing for contaminants, but it is going to be a long road.

….but after the Garden of Life scam, I have no choice

thanks for reading and commenting

~stay healthy~




Has there been an update to this story? I heard there was going to be further testing in July 2015 and that an agreement had been reached in February of last year solving this problem.

Does anyone know if Garden of Life fixed this problem or not and this there any testing that proves it? Can't find an update on



Hi Doug,

Not sure of any update. But i would have to have  a heck of a lot of evidence for me to ever use Garden of Life again. I’m back on hemp protein as I have learned that complete proteins may not be as critical in my protein powder, as long as I get all my complete spectrum amino acids in from various sources throughout the day. That is a theory i’m now going by that makes sense to me, who nows how accurate is really is.

~stay healthy~


Just following up on your article.  It's been well over a year, has anything changed?   If so, what?  I should've done my research on this before I purchased $32 worth of GOL's Protein powder.  


Hi Rose,

i don’t know the current status of GOL, but I doubt if I will ever use them again. I’m sticking to hemp protein.

~stay healthy~



Have you seen the 2015 report from Garden of Life?  They did their homework and made big changes to significantly reduced the heavy metals.  Their research report is included at the end of the article.  Worth checking out.   My confidence in GOL has returned.  Your


So I read this article and comments about a month ago and thought, well GOL probably is probably better than ever now with higher standards, so I ended up buying a can from King Soopers. I found out today that there is now ANOTHER recall in Feb. 2016 for Salmonella 🙁 Sorry GOL I really wanted to like you. But won’t be buying anymore.


Hey ShayShay,

Thanks for this comment. I’ll confirm it and add it to the top of the article. Even though they claimed to be “clean”, I had decided 2 years ago to never buy Garden of Life again. I was thinking about going back, but the voice in my head told me not to.

….now I know why

I’m not defending Garden of life, but if you are the Conspiracy Theory type of person, the is some evidence that Companies like Garden of Life and Chipoltle (who went GMO free) are victims of corporate sabotage, since they are trying to break free Big Business’ unsafe man-made products. From what I hear, they are trying to scare consumers from any large company trying to go “all-natural”. It’s just a theory that I am running across.

~stay healthy~


Has anyone been able to sue garden of life? I was taking the raw fit high protein shake for 2 months and have had eye twitching, muscle spasms, and an array of other issues.  I also have heavy metals poisoning.  Any help would be much appreciated!!! Thanks!!


manufacturer in USA knew the brown rice from china is contaminated, and keep selling it,? 


Hi Rock,

Well, we do know at the minimum, that, once they did their testing and discovered the issue of excessive lead and tungeston in Garden of life products,  informed Garden of Life of the issue. Garden of Live supposedly did nothing to remove the product from their shelves, and supposedly asked NaturalNews not to publish the information.

Now whether Garden of Life knew anything before the Natural News testing, who kows. But I can infer from their actions after the discovery, they could care less one way or the other.

Thanks for reading and commenting

Doug at Gaia Health Blog





I used to use Garden of Life products all the time for many years.  Every morning I would use the Raw Protein Powder in my smoothies.  I have ate very healthy for over 20 years now.  Mostly organic food and very little packaged food.  Found out earlier this year that I had severe heavy metal poisoning after being tested by my doctor.  I have been doing expensive IV chelation treatments for over 6 months and still have a lot to go to get rid of all these heavy metals.  After reading this I am angry that I trusted Garden of Life and have suffered with my health as a result.  The chelation treatments aren't covered by insurance and it has cost me thousands of dollars so far dealing with chelating these heavy metals out.  Sickening that companies are all about the profit and expose people to poisons!


Hi Beth,

Sorry to hear about your condition.

I’m not sure if you are past teh point of considering natural ways to address metals, but I’ve learned that Cilantro pulls toxins from the body.

My Cilantro article here —–>

And of course there is always chlorella

my chlorella article here —–>

Like I implied. I’m not sure is these can help if you are at teh level of having been poisioned, but at least good things to know after you successfully get detoxed

Good Luck!!!

Doug at Gaia Health Blog



 Thank you Doug. Yes every day I eat a bunch of cilantro with chlorella.  I take modified citrus pectin with alginate. I also found another product called  NDF which is supposed to chelate the heavy metals out.  Bought an infrared sauna and do that every other day.  Unfortunately probably due to the high levels I have in my system I still have heavy-metal toxicity. So I have to continue with the IV chelation  treatment and I'll stay on the other supplements for  maintenance.


Hi Beth,

Good luck with that situation.

It’s a shame these companies can literally poison people and get away with it. And at the same time have their products labeled Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO certified, and all the rest, but still be filled with toxic poison……..sigh.

That’s why I try to buy as many products from (The Health Ranger Store is their Storefront) such as chlorella, cacao and others, because they test all their products for heavy metals.

Good Luck!!!

Doug at Gaia Health Blog

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(BELOW) Links to my favorite sites who are ”Raging Against the Machine”
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One Bold Soul: Artist and Writer

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(same name, different blog, no need to fight about it)

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