Heavy metals in baby foods linked to autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

A government report released by a House Subcommittee suggests that several brands of popular baby foods, including some organic brands, contain arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium at dangerously high levels. Exposure to these heavy metals can adversely affect the neurodevelopment of young children, possibly leading to developmental disorders like autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you purchased Gerber, Happy Family Organics, Beech-Nut, Plum Organics, Earth’s Best Organic, Parent’s Choice, or Sprout Foods brand baby foods and your child was subsequently diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or other developmental disorder, contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out how you can pursue compensation from the baby food manufacturer.

Heavy Metals Baby Food Lawsuit

Heavy Metals in Baby Food Lawsuit Information

Product liability lawyers across the country are investigating the troubling link between several major baby food brands and the presence of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. Even at low levels, exposure to heavy metals can have serious consequences for babies and young children whose brains are still developing, possibly leading to developmental disorders like autism, ASD, ADD, and ADHD. A growing number of product liability lawsuits filed in courts nationwide claim that top baby food manufacturers failed to recall dangerous products that were found to contain toxic heavy metals above the limits considered “safe” by federal regulators. Even worse, lawsuits claim that these companies knowingly sold tainted baby food products to unsuspecting parents and caregivers, thereby putting babies and children at risk for serious and permanent neurological impairment. Plaintiffs in the baby food litigation say that these irreversible injuries could have been avoided had the baby food manufacturers provided accurate information about the presence of toxic heavy metals in their products.

Adverse Effects of Exposure to Heavy Metals in Baby Foods

• Autism
• Autism spectrum disorder
• Attention deficit disorder
• Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
• Decreased IQ
• Behavioral problems
• Bladder, lung, and skin cancer
• Cognitive and reproductive problems
• Type 2 diabetes

“Baby Food companies such as Gerber, Happy Family Organics, Beech-Nut, Plum Organics, Earth’s Best Organic, Parent’s Choice, and Sprout Foods Brand Baby knew of dangerously high levels of Arsenic, Mercury, Lead, and Cadmium in their baby foods but chose to leave these products on the shelves and continued to sell them regardless of the known risks to babies’ health.”

History of Heavy Metals in Baby Foods

Consumers were first warned that certain baby foods may be tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead in a staff report released by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy on February 4, 2021. At the time of the initial report, toxic heavy metals had been discovered in several popular brands of baby food, including Gerber, Nurture, Inc., the maker of Happy Family Organics baby foods; Beech-Nut Nutrition Company; and Hain Celestial Group, Inc., the maker of Earth’s Best Organic baby foods. At the time the initial baby food report was released, three companies had failed to deliver the information and documents requested by the Subcommittee in its baby food product inquiry. These companies were Campbell, the maker of Plum Organics (Plum), Sprout Foods, Inc., and Walmart, and their failure to cooperate raised concerns about the potential presence of toxic heavy metals at levels that exceeded those found in the other companies’ products.

According to a subsequent baby food report released by the Subcommittee on September 29, 2021, Beech-Nut in June 2021 recalled some of its baby food products due to the presence of toxic heavy metals discovered by public health officials with the State of Alaska during testing that was funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the test results that prompted the recall, which were obtained by the Subcommittee, revealed unsafe levels of toxic inorganic arsenic in Beech-Nut infant rice cereal products that were not recalled by the company and in Gerber infant rice cereal products, which were also never recalled. According to the report, the inorganic arsenic levels in these baby food products exceeded the FDA’s limit of 100 parts per billion (ppb), “an already dangerously-high standard that FDA is now lowering.”

Reasons to Bring About Litigation

Lawsuits filed over heavy metals in baby food allege that baby food manufacturers:
• Developed a tainted product that put children at risk for autism, ADHD, lower IQ, and other developmental disorders.
• Knew or should have known that their baby food products contained toxic heavy metals.
• Failed to disclose the presence of heavy metals in their marketing.
• Withheld information from investigators about high levels of heavy metals in their products.
• Sold these dangerous baby food products to consumers without warnings.

Why are There Heavy Metals in Baby Foods?

The FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) warn that heavy metals are harmful to human health, particularly among babies and young children, since their brains and organ systems are not yet fully developed. “The testing practices for toxic heavy metals used by most of the baby food industry are flawed and underestimate the toxic heavy metal content of their products,” the Subcommittee states in its September 2021 report. “In the February 4, 2021, staff report, the Subcommittee found that most baby food manufacturers do not test their finished products at all. Instead, they test only individual ingredients and use those results to estimate the toxic heavy metal levels in their finished products.” According to the Subcommittee report, Hain, the maker of Earth’s Best Organic baby foods, underestimated toxic heavy metal levels in its finished products 100% of the time. Sprout, another baby food manufacturer, relies on its ingredient suppliers to test for the presence of heavy metals, but only requires them to conduct testing once a year. The Subcommittee warns that estimates based on individual ingredient testing are “inaccurate and dangerous for consumers,” and may fail to detect harmful levels of heavy metals that can lead to serious and irreversible side effects.

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