Workaholics who don’t have the time for three squares a day have turned to the meal replacement supplement Soylent, a supposed wonder-food that claims to provide all the nourishment of a meal in a simple powdered drink.
But recent tests have revealed possible violations by the company of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (SDWTE).
In two separate test results commissioned by the environmental non-profit As You Sow (AYS), it was found that one serving of Soylent was found to contain lead concentrations, “12 to 25 times above California’s Safe Harbor level for reproductive health, and a concentration of cadmium that is at least 4 times greater than the Safe Harbor level.”
AYS recently filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the supplement company for its failure to provide sufficient warning to consumers.
Soylent has defended its product with claims that it was never intended to totally replace a regular diet and that its manufacturing facilities are FDA-approved, but there are reports of Silicon Valley workers running on three servings a day of the product.
A quick read through the preparation instructions for powdered food slurry actually describes how to slowly increase the percentage of Soylent in the diet to more than 60%.
The convenience and simplicity of Soylent have turned it into something of a success, having just raised $20 million in funding in January.
For some, it simply removes one more chore from their already busy days. Others struggle with their relationship with food and have resorted to using Soylent as a means to improve their health.
Any exposure to lead is associated with an increased health risk, and AYS has been a leading enforcer of California’s SDWTE resulting in the removal of lead from children’s toys and baby powder, but whether or not Soylent will take action regarding the test results by AYS remains to be seen.