"I am fairly sure good quality pewter...made in modern times is a lead free and safe to use."
Have you ever bought a cut of meat called "Tri-Tip" ? It is one of many cuts that simply did not exist 50 years ago. Now, have cattle been redesigned in the last 50 years? No. So how come these cuts of meat didn't exist 50 years ago?
Because it is all a name game! When pewter was declared unsafe, the whole pewter "industry" had a problem. They couldn't sell their products for anything except wall hanging. So they redefined "pewter" and what you call pewter today is perfectly safe--except it isn't pewter.
Hocus-pocus jiminyocus! Poof! And it looks just like pewter. Might even taste like pewter (which has a distinctive taste) but I haven't compared any to find out.
I know, sometimes the butchers find a different way to slice--but the meat they are slicing, still came from someplace which already had a different name. The new pewter is undoubtedly better than the New Coke, but it still isn't "pewter".
From wikipedia, which doesn't mention taste: "The constituents of pewter were first controlled in the 12th century by town guilds in France. By the 15th century, the Worshipful Company of Pewterers controlled pewter constituents in England. This company originally had two grades of pewter, but in the 16th century a third grade was added. The first type, known as "fine metal", was used for flatware. It consisted of tin with as much copper as it could absorb, which is about 1%. The second type, known as "trifling metal" or "trifle", was used for holloware. It is made up of fine metal with approximately 4% lead. The last type of pewter, known as "lay" or "ley" metal, was used for items that were not in contact with food or drink. It consisted of tin with 15% lead. These three alloys were used, with little variation, until the 20th century."
And of course, the American nation descended mainly from the British traditions.