Mug-gate Update: Step Away From the 2005 Cup, Please | Live Culture

Please support our work!

Donate  Advertise

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mug-gate Update: Step Away From the 2005 Cup, Please

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM

UPDATE NOVEMBER 6, 2013: VPR clarifies that it is unable to test mugs from 2002 and older, and that is why it recommends owners of those mugs discontinue use.

Also, the issue with the 2005 mug is, in fact, lead detected in the ceramic, not in the design printed on it. It was the only mug out of 34 tested that did not meet FDA requirements.

News that has the word "lead" in it is usually bad news. But Vermont Public Radio's announcement today about "Mug-gate" was mostly good. Of all the artist-designed mugs VPR recently has had tested for the presence of the heavy metal, all but one passed with flying colors, i.e., met FDA regulations.

However, if you're a donor who's been drinking your coffee from the 2005 artist mug pictured here, well, you are advised to stop. Especially if you're a young child or pregnant woman. Better to turn that mug into a planter or pen holder.

In fact, VPR suggests donors not drink from any cup made in 2002 or earlier, just to be on the safe side.

The 2005 mug's artwork by Chris Varricchione is not to blame; neither is the Chinese manufacturer of the white ceramic cup. Rather, it's the Pennsylvania vendor that imprinted the art on the glazed mug. 

To its credit, VPR has stayed in front of this story since another mug was in question in late September (see our previous post about the lead discovery here). Today's press announcement noted that VPR has purchased the mugs from China but used various American vendors to ink the designs. 

The station is now reconsidering its tradition of gifting artist mugs to donors in fundraising campaigns. Says today's announcement:  ..."members of the VPR staff have started to examine a future reboot of the program, including domestic sourcing of mugs and the continued use of organic-based inks."

Added Brendan Kinney, vice president of development and marketing, “We have learned much over the last month as we navigated this complicated issue. We appreciate the feedback that we’ve received from our listeners and are working diligently to maintain their trust and loyalty.”

Image of mug courtesy of VPR.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact [email protected].

About The Author

Pamela Polston

Pamela Polston

Pamela Polston is a cofounder and the Art Editor of Seven Days. In 2015, she was inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Latest in Live Culture

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2024 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation