Heavy Metals Baby Food Lawsuit | Autism and ADHD
A government report on toxic heavy metals in baby food found that several brands—including some organic—contain arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead at high levels that pose significant dangers to the neurodevelopment of children. Indeed, all of these toxic heavy metals have been associated with autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and attention deficit disorder in children.
Parents throughout the country are outraged to learn that baby food products from Happy Family Organics, Happy Baby, Gerber, Earth’s Best Organic, Beech-Nut, Plum Organics, Parent’s Choice, and Sprout Organic Food contain “dangerously high levels” of toxic heavy metals. Worse, the major baby food companies behind these brands knowingly sold tainted baby food to unsuspecting parents, according to the report.
Numerous studies have linked toxic heavy metal exposure to behavior impairments. The link is especially pronounced among babies and young children, whose brains are still developing. Even at low levels, exposure to heavy metals can cause serious and irreversible damage to neurological development.
Tainted Baby Food Lawsuit – Justice for Parents of Children with Autism and ADHD
Attorneys from the national law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman are investigating the link between several major baby foods and heavy metals that are positively associated with autism and ADHD. If you purchased the baby food brands Happy Family Organics, Happy Baby, Gerber, Earth’s Best Organic, Beech-Nut, Plum Organics, Parent’s Choice, or Sprout Organic Food and your child later developed autism or ADHD, our firm is interested in pursuing justice and maximum compensation on your behalf.
“The level of exposure to these heavy metals known to be safe for infants is literally zero,” says Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman attorney Pedram Esfandiary. “These companies knew their products were toxic and they knew that if they told parents the truth, no one would ever buy tainted baby food. Concealing the known dangers of your products and profiting at the expense of your customers is already reprehensible. When you consider the customers in this case are kids, it doesn’t get much worse than that.”
Our firm is outraged by the recklessness of these baby food companies and we intend to hold them accountable in baby food heavy metal lawsuits.
If you would like to speak with an experienced consumer attorney legal team about your baby food heavy metals lawsuit, please contact us or give us a call at (855) 948-5098 for a free and confidential case evaluation.
What Heavy Metals are in Baby Food?
The U.S. House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy report ‘Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury’ alleges that toxic heavy metals were found in seven major baby food brands. The baby food report lists staggering levels of the following toxic metals:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allow for 10 parts per billion (ppb) inorganic arsenic, 5 ppb cadmium, 5 ppb lead, and 2 ppb mercury in drinking water. The House baby food report found 177 times more than the acceptable level of lead, up to 91 times more than the acceptable level of arsenic, up to 69 times more than the acceptable level of cadmium, and up to 5 times more than the acceptable level of mercury.
Toxic heavy metal exposure is capable of causing permanent decreases in IQ and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children. Infant exposure to heavy metals can endanger long-term brain function and neurological development.
The FDA and the World Health Organization have stated that heavy metals are dangerous to human health, particularly among babies and young children. A WHO report found that arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury ranked among the top 10 chemicals of major health concern.
What Baby Food Brands Have Heavy Metals?
The baby food brands listed in the 2021 Congressional report on baby food include:
- Nurture – Happy Family Organics and HappyBABY
- Hain Celestial Group – Earth’s Best Organic
- Campbell Soup – Plum Organics
- Walmart – Parent’s Choice
- Sprout Foods – Sprout Organic Food
Nurture, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Gerber complied with the Congressional subcommittee's request for an investigation into the safety of baby foods. Walmart, Campbell, and Sprout Organic Foods refused to cooperate with the subcommittee’s request. According to the report, the subcommittee is “greatly concerned that their lack of cooperation might be obscuring the presence of even higher levels of toxic heavy metals in their baby food products than their competitors’ products.”
This is not the first time some of these companies have made headlines for contaminated baby food. In 2017, a non-profit organization called the Clean Label Project published data from an infant formula and baby food study that found arsenic, mercury, and lead in products from major brands. In 2019, an inquiry from Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) confirmed some of the revelations in the Clean Label Project baby food report.
Which Products Have Toxic Metals?
The baby food products implicated in the 2021 baby food report include popular cereals, sweet potato puree, a variety of juices, and snack puffs, all of which are made by what many parents believed to be trusted baby food brands.
The subcommittee was particularly focused on snack puffs, which along with crackers, cookies, crisps, puffs, and teething biscuits, are particularly high in rice content. The rice puff products named in the baby food report include:
- Apple & Broccoli Puffs (contained inorganic arsenic at 180 ppb)
- Apple Rice Cakes
- Banana & Pumpkin Puffs
- Blueberry Beet Rice Cakes
- Kale & Spinach Puffs
- Purple Carrot & Blueberry Puffs
- Strawberry & Beet Puffs
- Sweet Potato & Carrot Puffs
Baby foods with rice have traditionally been problematic in heavy metals testing, especially when it comes to arsenic levels. In 2016, the U.S. FDA proposed a threshold for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal to 100 ppb. The FDA only recently enacted this regulation, which is still ten times greater than the amount of arsenic allowed in bottled water.
Will the Latest Consumer Report Lead to a Baby Food Recall?
None of the brands cited in the House report have issued baby food recalls and the government has no plans at this time to force any recalls. However, the report did make the following recommendations to improve the safety of baby foods:
Mandatory Testing: The FDA should require baby food companies to test their finished products for toxic heavy metals, not just test the ingredients independently.
Food Labels: The FDA should require baby food companies to report levels of toxic metals on the labels of their products.
Phase Out Toxic Ingredients: If ingredients in baby foods contain high levels of heavy metals, the companies should voluntarily find substitute ingredients or phase out products that have high amounts of ingredients that frequently test high in heavy metals.
Set Maximum Heavy Metals Standards: The FDA should set maximum allowable levels of toxic heavy metals in baby foods. Each toxic metal should have one level applied across all baby foods and the level should be set to protect babies against the neurological effects of toxic heavy metals.
Avoid Foods with Ingredients That Test High: If the FDA institutes the recommendations listed above, Parents should be able to make informed decisions about which baby foods to avoid.