Saturday, February 25, 2017

Green Sprouts Hired a Lawyer to Shut Me Up. I Will Not Stop Talking.

Update: On March 2, 2017, Becky and Emi from Green Sprouts sent me an email apologizing for having a lawyer send me the letter this post is addressing. I am leaving this post up but have published their apology.

The apology reads:
We are writing to you to personally apologize on behalf of i play., Inc. for how we have handled communication with you and your readers since this situation came to light. I understand that you are committed to helping your readers make healthy choices for their families...(read the full text of the apology letter here)

Ten days ago I published a blog post telling you about lead that was found in the paint on the glass inner liners of Green Sprouts "Glass Sip N Straw" sippy cups. You can read that whole post here: Update on Lead in Green Sprouts Sippy Cups: What You Need to Know!

Since then, Green Sprouts' parent company, iPlay has hired a lawyer to try to bully me into removing the post. Their lawyer, Heather Jones of Spilman Thomas & Battle, called me and told me I was publishing "false and misleading information" about her clients. Interestingly, when I asked which information was false or misleading so I could correct it, she told me it's not iPlay's job to tell me that


I wrote a well-researched blog post, referencing multiple sources, containing only information I believe to be true. Information that is not flattering - but true nonetheless.

The company accuses me of publishing information that is "false and misleading".

I ask which information is untrue so I can fix it. 

And they REFUSE to tell me saying it would be better to just take the WHOLE ARTICLE down if I can't figure that out myself????

Bull shit. 


Pardon my language but that is absolute garbage. 

After she became hostile with me on the phone, I told her I would be delighted to look at any factual corrections she or iPlay would like to submit to me in writing. 

Then today I got this certified letter (click the images to make them bigger):

I believe that iPlay is embarrassed about the discovery of lead in the markings on the glass portion their cups and wants to bury this issue. If that's true, they should be embarrassed. This is a company that has set themselves up as being one of the top brands for non-toxic products for kids. A brand that I, in fact, used to promote to other moms because I believed in the safety of their products (to be clear: I was never paid by Green Sprouts to do any promotion on their behalf. I simple believed in their products and told other moms and CGL readers about them).

I believe the right thing for Green Sprouts to do would be to issue a voluntary recall of the painted glass inserts. Instead, they are going to accuse me of publishing "false and misleading information" without telling me what information they believe to be false or misleading in an effort to shut me up and keep me from telling moms about the lead paint in their kids' sippy cups.

So let me be really clear:

It is a FACT that a test using an XRF analyzer operated by a trained and certified XRF operator gave a reading of 3,003 (+/-107) PPM lead when testing the paint on the glass insert. (source

It is a FACT that an investigation by Julie Watts of CBS San Francisco saw XRF test results of more than 4000 PPM lead when testing the paint on the glass inserts. (source)

It is a FACT that several independent moms tested the paint on their children's sippy cups with LeadCheck swabs and the swab (and sometimes the paint) turned red indicating that at LEAST 600 PPM lead was present - which is the federal limit for lead in household paint - the limit for lead in children's products is much lower. (see cover image for two such tests. More user-submitted images are available to see on the Natural Baby Mama website.)

It is a FACT that the moms I have talked to that own these sippy cups are uncomfortable with there being ANY lead in ANY place on their children's cups. 

It is a FACT that I do not take kindly to being bullied and I am not going to stop sharing the truth about this issue. 

UPDATE 2/26/2017: Tamara Rubin, renowned lead expert and the certified operator who did the original testing of the sippy cup, has also received a similar letter from the same attorney. See her post about it here: Letter from Green Sprouts Sippy Cup Attorneys on

UPDATE II 2/28/2017: While doing a home visit with a mother who owns two of the cups in question, Tamara was able to make a video showing how she tested these specific cups for lead using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF). The readings for lead in these cups happened to be EVEN HIGHER than the amount of lead detected in the cups tested and reported on here. See the video below:

For further reading, please see:

About the Author:

Carissa is a green lifestyle expert and mom of two boys. The owner and lead writer for Creative Green Living,  she is also the author of two e-books including the best-selling beverage cookbook, Infused: Recipes for Herb & Fruit Infused Water, Tea and More and the forthcoming cookbook (spring 2017), Beautiful Smoothie BowlsHer goal is to empower families to make healthier choices that are easy, taste great and are fun!
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  1. Go girl is right! Nice take down, Carissa!

  2. Proud of you for not letting them get away with it. I stand by you!

  3. You have an army of moms and fellow bloggers behind you. We don't like bullies and we don't reward them with sales. We do reward companies who admit mistakes,make amends and move forward.

  4. AMEN Allison! Voluntarily recall- improve and re-release. I can respect that. But this? From a company that claims natural safe products? They clearly don't know their market. Talk about handling a situation inappropriately. "Shift the burden" are you kidding me? This makes my blood boil. Instead or trying to understand your research their first instinct is this??? Not a company I want to do business with. Shame on I Play. Thank you- on behalf of all moms for doing what you do.

  5. What's telling is that the firm in mention (Spilman, Thomas and Battle) specializes in 38 types of cases. A whopping 38! One would think that they would have listed Libel, Slander, or Defamation in their numerous credits. Hmmm, it's NOT what they specialize in.

    They DO specialize in toxic torts, asbestos suits, pollution suits etc..
    Meaning, i play knows they are not going after you for libel/slander/lies/defamation but in fact hired guns that defend toxicity in class action law suits.
    They basically just pointed an arrow at the guilt they know they are facing: this is going to be a class action law suit involving lead.
    I agree with you: if they were a reputable company, their first response should've been one of, "Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we are taking measures to investigate this matter," as the VERY first, action. It's professional and doesn't admit fault.
    i play doesn't know what they are doing.

  6. A great job you have already done. I’m really delighted to see your amazing work.


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