Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Presence of Toxic Metals In Baby Food Brands

Some of the baby food products contained 177 times the amount of lead considered safe for infants.

Amid a growing number of toxic baby food lawsuits being filed against several major baby food manufacturers, a class action lawsuit has been filed by parents who say they were deceived into feeding their children baby food laced with high levels of toxic heavy metals

In a complaint (PDF) filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on February 25, a group of 13 plaintiffs joined together to pursue damages from Beech-Nut, Nurture, Inc., Plum, Inc. Gerber Products Company, Walmart, Inc. and Sprout Foods, Inc., alleging that they sold toxic baby food to parents nationwide.

In April 2021, a U.S. Congressional report highlighted internal documents and testing results for products sold by a number of companies, indicating that many baby foods contain high levels metals that may pose serious health risks for children, with more than 91 times the maximum level of arsenic allowed in bottled water; 177 times the allowable levels of lead, 69 times the limits on cadmium, and five times the levels of allowable mercury.

The baby food lawsuit seeks class action status to pursue damages for the plaintiffs, as well as other parents who purchased the tainted products, describing the high levels of heavy metals in the baby food as “outrageous.”

“Plaintiffs are consumers who purchased Defendants’ Baby Foods reasonably believing that such baby foods are safe, nutritious, and free from harmful toxins, contaminants and chemicals,” the lawsuit states. “In reality, and despite Defendants’ promises and reassurances to parents that their products are pure, natural, safe and healthy, these Baby Foods contain heavy metals that are not pure, are unnatural, are unsafe, and pose a major risk to babies and infants.”

The plaintiffs say the manufacturers played on the parents’ trust that such an important product as baby food would be safe, concealing the levels of toxic heavy metals present for years. The lawsuit indicates the defendants knew that if consumers were aware of the high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium in their baby food, parents would be unwilling to purchase such products.

Although the manufacturers continue to maintain that their baby food is safe and appropriately labeled, the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have long maintained that exposing infants and children to toxic heavy metals can cause a permanent decrease in IQ, an increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior, and untreatable and frequently permanent brain damage.

Heavy metal exposure to infants is a serious concern. Lead exposure at any level is extremely unsafe for children. Prior studies have linked heavy metal exposure to behavioral impairments, brain damage, damage to the nervous system, seizures, growth impairments, and even death.

The lawsuit joins a growing number of parents who have filed similar baby food lawsuits in the wake of the congressional report. It presents claims of strict product liability, failure to warn, negligence, negligent manufacturing, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violations of California consumer protection laws.

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