Hi Sweeties! I have an update on the slow cooker/lead front. I have received emails from both Rival:
Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS), the distributor of [the product in question] is very focused on the materials that are used in the manufacture of its products. JCS goes to great lengths to ensure that its products meet or exceed all applicable laws and regulations as well as industry standards, such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Likewise, JCS is diligent in is efforts to ensure that its products are compliant with applicable regulations regarding the presence of lead.
JCS tests for lead and other toxic metals on its products to ensure they are safe for consumers. In addition, we periodically use accredited third party lab testing to reveal that our slow cooker stoneware is far below the U.S. FDA and California Regulation Prop 65 requirements for extractable lead and cadmium in ceramic wares, thus supporting our results.
All of our slow cooker inserts are lead free. The non-stick insert is made of cast aluminum.
I haven't received a reply email from Cuisinart.
If we choose to believe All-Clad and Rival, looks like you're good to go if you own one of those. You might feel an edge if you have an All-Clad as they're saying the crock is "lead free" rather than that it contains "acceptable" amounts of lead. If you're still nervous, you can always send your slow cooker insert off to an independent lab for testing. What am I going to do? Most likely, go back to using my Crock Pot. I'm always skeptical about companies and profit-motives, but there's a point for me where I have to let go and have trust. If I followed every hunch and suspicion out to its end-point, I'd make myself a crazy woman.
The one thing I will say is that I like the thoroughness of the reply from JCS. The reply from All-Clad leaves me a little cold - I like the "lead free" aspect, but their reference to the cast-aluminum insert is because I inquired about what the cast-aluminum is coated with to make it non-stick. As you know, I don't use non-stick cookware because of health concerns. They completely ignored this and didn't answer the question.
I might go so far as to buy a new slow cooker - mine (as are most) was manufactured in China, and you'll remember that in recent years there've been issues w/Chinese exports containing nasties that aren't allowed in products here . . . . I think that companies have been more diligent about independent testing since that news broke. I purchased this Crock Pot many years ago, maybe it's more suspect? That's about as extreme a measure as I'm willing to take right now.
What're you going to do?