Manufacturing's Winner And Loser: Helping A Lead Problem Vs. Causing One

This week's winner has pledged to donate water to Flint, Michigan amidst its lead-tainted water crisis; this week's loser is paying the price for elevated lead levels in its cookies.

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This week's winner has pledged to donate water to Flint, Michigan amidst its lead-tainted water crisis; this week's loser is paying the price for elevated lead levels in its cookies. 

Winner 

Walmart, along with several beverage-makers across the world, is collectively donating bottled water to Flint while it deals with water tainted by lead. So far, the companies have pledged about 175 truckloads of bottled water. 

Joined by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle, Walmart announced Tuesday the donation of up to 6.5 million bottles of water through December. Since July, the company has donated 14 truckloads and almost 1,800 water filters. 

Although many "winners" are usually those who implement new money-saving methods or create a revolutionary technology, sometimes the best practices come from offering aid and earning a good name for it. 

Loser

Lead isn't just affecting Flint's water, though. It has also made a slightly more unexpected appearance — in ginger snap cookies. 

Mondelez is set to pay a $750,000 fine to settle a case in regards to its high lead levels in its ginger snap cookies. The company was investigated by California Attorney General Kamala Harris along with 11 local district attorneys following the test results released in 2013 by the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland.

The tests showed Nabisco's Ginger Snap cookies exceeded nine times the threshold of the 0.5 micrograms of lead per serving per day, the amount at which companies are required to disclose lead levels as required by the state's Proposition 65. 

The levels were linked to the manufacturing processes for molasses and ginger, as well as the soil conditions. Under the agreement, Mondelez will also have to hire a food quality auditor for training in addition to paying for the monitoring of its products and supply chain. 

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