Trader Joe's hit on antibiotics in meat, lead in candy

May 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

MONROVIA, Calif., May 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. consumer group is warning customers grocery chain Trader Joe's sells meat containing antibiotics and candy containing lead.

Consumers Union, a policy committee connected with Consumer Reports magazine, took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times Thursday that said "WARNING!" in bold red labels and called on Trader Joe's to "help curb a major public health crisis."

The organization said Trader Joe's refused to discuss with it the issue of meat products raised in conditions that include steady doses of antibiotics.

"We understand the importance of our customers' decisions when it comes to their grocery shopping and do not presume to make choices for them," the company said in a statement. "We work hard to offer products we think fit our customers' needs -- covering a range of considerations."

The company, based in Monrovia, Calif., said it sells a variety of meats that are free of antibiotics.

Trader Joe's has also been named in a lawsuit -- along with Target, Whole Foods and others -- accusing it of selling candy with high levels of toxic lead. The lawsuit was filed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris' office in Superior Court in San Francisco, the Times said.

The product connecting Trader Joe's to the issue is Uncrystallized Candied Ginger, the Times said.

Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said in an email the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.

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