Read the full article by Tom Perkins (The Guardian)

“A new class-action lawsuit alleges US beverage maker Bolthouse Farms deceived customers with claims that its Green Goodness smoothie is made of ‘100% fruit juice’ after testing found the drink contains toxic PFAS, a synthetic chemical, at levels far above federal advisory drinking water limits…

…Though water is considered to be a main exposure route to the chemicals, researchers are increasingly finding food to be a source of exposure. However, the Food and Drug Administration has taken few meaningful steps to protect the nation’s food supply, critics say.

‘When FDA falters, the law firms that are out there are going to protect their clients because the FDA is not dealing with it,’ said Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director with the Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit that pressures the agency to take stronger action on PFAS.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs and Bolthouse Farms did not respond to requests for comment. The same attorneys weeks earlier filed a similar suit against Coca-Cola over PFAS in its Simply Tropical drink.

Though Bolthouse’s packaging states that the smoothie is made of ‘100% fruit juice’, the suit says PFAS are ‘a category of synthetic chemicals that are, by definition, artificial’.

Its testing found three PFAS compounds – PFOS, 6:2 FTOH, and PFHxS.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently found virtually no level of exposure to PFOS in drinking water is safe. No limits exist for 6:2 FTOH and PFHxS because they have not been as thoroughly studied as PFOS, though independent science has linked all three compounds to many of the same health issues.

It is unclear how the chemicals got in the drink, and it is highly unlikely they were intentionally added. PFAS researchers who reviewed the case told the Guardian the chemicals may have been in the fruit. Fruit could be contaminated from pesticides, water, or the use of PFAS-tainted sewage sludge as fertilizer.

It is also possible any water added to the drink could have been contaminated. Finally, it is conceivable the chemicals were added to the plastic packaging. A lawsuit filed in late December just days ahead of the class-action suit asks a judge to order Houston-based firm Inhance to stop adding PFAS to plastic. Testing from academic and EPA researchers over the last two years has found high levels of the chemicals can leach into food and other products that have been treated with PFAS.

However, experts say contaminated plastic is less likely in the Bolthouse case because the levels would probably be much higher.

‘We just don’t know, but Bolthouse should, and it should always be testing their products,’ Neltner said. ‘But I’m guessing they are doing that now.'”…