Lawsuits Claim Heavy Metals in Baby Food Products Caused Neurological, Cognitive Problems in Children

More than a year after a government investigative committee released its initial report indicating that several popular baby food brands contain high levels of toxic heavy metals, product liability lawsuits continue to pour in, alleging that exposure to these tainted baby food products caused affected children to suffer permanent neurological injury leading to developmental and cognitive delays. If your child suffered neurological damage, developmental delays, or other serious injuries after consuming Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY, Earth’s Best Organic, or another tainted baby food product containing mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, or any other toxic heavy metal, contact Consumer Safety Watch today. You may be eligible to file a baby food injury lawsuit against the manufacturer, in order to pursue the compensation your child deserves for his or her injuries.

Toxic Heavy Metals Can Harm Infant Neurological Development

Children all over the country are fed baby food purees, puffs, infant rice cereal, and other seemingly safe and healthy products made by some of the biggest names in baby food, including Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Earth’s Best Organic. However, the U.S. Committee on Oversight and Reform, the main investigative committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, has issued a series of reports exposing dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium in popular baby food products, which can be extremely harmful to infant neurological development. “The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have declared [heavy metals] dangerous to human health, particularly to babies and children, who are most vulnerable to their neurotoxic effects,” the committee warns. “Even low levels of exposure can cause serious and often irreversible damage to brain development.”

Lawsuits Blame Baby Food Manufacturers for Heavy Metal Exposure

The first Congressional report, released in February 2021, reported several brands of baby food products found to be tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium, including those produced by Beech-Nut, Gerber, Happy Family Organics (HappyBABY), Hain Celestial Group (Earth’s Best Organic), Walmart (Parent’s Choice), Campbell (Plum Organics), and Sprout Organic Foods. The second report, released in September 2021, found dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals in even more baby foods, including those produced by Beech-Nut, Gerber, Plum Organics, Parent’s Choice, and Sprout Organic Foods. The manufacturers of these widely used baby food products now face a growing number of lawsuits filed by parents across the country who allege that exposure to the toxic heavy metals in these products had a serious adverse impact on their children’s health and development.

In one such lawsuit, filed in January 2022 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, a mother from Pennsylvania states that she fed her infant baby food manufactured and sold by two well-known brands, Gerber and Beech-Nut, for months, believing that the products were nutritious and safe for her baby. However, she learned from the House Oversight Committee report that these products contained high levels of arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals that can severely impact a child’s health and neurological development. The plaintiff alleges in her lawsuit that exposure to these heavy metals caused her child to suffer a host of devastating side effects, including neurological damage, developmental delays, speech deficits and delays, behavioral disorders, impairment of motor skills, and injury to the central nervous system. “Exposure to the toxic heavy metals in defendants’ […] baby food products—lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium—leads to illness, impairment, and in high doses, death,” the product liability lawsuit states. “Out of all groups of people, infants and children are at the greatest risk of harm from toxic heavy metal exposure.”

Heavy Metal Exposure Linked to Neurocognitive and Behavioral Disorders

Most heavy metals are considered highly toxic and are capable of causing serious adverse health consequences in exposed individuals. Because of the known health effects associated with human exposure to heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, these elements have been analyzed extensively in scientific studies, and children have been found to be especially susceptible to their harmful neurotoxic effects. In one study published in the journal Biometals in 2019, the researchers concluded that, “The implications of heavy metals with regards to children’s health have been noted to be more severe compared to adults.” The researchers reviewed the exposure routes and health effects of lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and barium on children, and reported harmful health consequences ranging from mental retardation and neurocognitive disorders to behavioral disorders and respiratory problems, and even cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

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