Garden of Life RAW Protein products found to contain heavy metals tungsten, lead and cadmium

lifeNatural News – by Mike Adams

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. 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-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:…

Share the video explaining all this at:

Or watch it here:

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

Learn more:

One thought on “Garden of Life RAW Protein products found to contain heavy metals tungsten, lead and cadmium

  1. What bs this. This is a attack on a good company by a known Alex jones cohort. The health ranger is a liar and fraud and he timed this to coinicide with this companys launch. I have spoken with Garden of Life, and they emailed me their independent testing which was clean. Legal action is on the way against mr health ranger who is probably big agri backed. Dont take anyones word for anything. Do your own research and think for yourselves. FU big agra your days are short as we are done eating posion..

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