Gerber Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Baby and Toddler Food Nutrient Claims

Lawsuit alleges that Gerber violates FDA rules by touting unproven health benefits on the baby food labels.

According to allegations raised in a recent baby food class action lawsuit, Gerber has illegally marketed its products by claiming they are more nutritional and beneficial for children than they actually are.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Tracy Howard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on August 19, naming Gerber Products Company as the defendant, and seeking class action status to represent other parents and caregivers who Howard says were deceived by Gerber’s nutritional claims.

The Gerber class action accuses the manufacturer of misbranding its baby and toddler food products, by making overblown nutrient content claims which violate FDA rules. Those misstatements lead purchasers into believing Geber baby food provides physical health benefits it does not, Howard’s lawsuit states.

Gerber Toxic Baby Food Lawsuits

The case comes as Gerber is already facing a number of toxic baby food lawsuits over the presence of heavy toxic metals in its products, which have allegedly caused children to develop autism, ADHD and other disabilities.

The litigation emerged over the past year, following the release of a congressional report which found many popular products contain high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, which may cause severe health problems and developmental challenges for children.

The report highlighted internal documents and testing products for baby food sold by Gerber, Nurture, Beech-Nut Nutrition, Hain Celestial Group, Campbell, Sprout Organic Foods and other widely used products, finding that some baby foods contain high levels of toxic metals, 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.

Learn More About

Baby Food Lawsuits

Toxic baby food sold by Gerber, Beech-Nut and other manufacturers contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, which may be the cause of autism and severe ADHD for children.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See if you qualify for a settlement

The class action lawsuit against Gerber filed by Howard does not involve claims related to the toxic heavy metals found in several of the company’s products, but instead focuses on claims Gerber exaggerated the nutritional health benefits of its products.

“Intending to profit from parents’ increasing desire to purchase food for their young children that provides physical health benefits, Defendant misbrands its baby and toddler food products by making nutrient content claims on the product packages that are strictly prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration,” the lawsuit states. “Moreover, the nutrient content claims on Defendant’s products mislead purchasers into believing that the products provide physical health benefits for children under two years of age in order to induce parents into purchasing Defendant’s products. In fact, the Products are harmful both nutritionally and developmentally for children under two.”

Food intended for young children are prohibited from making certain types of claims, such as alleging items fortified with certain ingredients are thus healthier. For example, some Gerber products claim to be made “with Vitamin C.” However, there is no scientific recommendation or claim that there is a Vitamin C deficiency, so touting it as a benefit is considered misleading, according to the lawsuit.

In addition, label claims like “4g of protein” may be considered misleading by the FDA, which warns that “since many consumers have a limited knowledge and understanding of the amounts of nutrients that are recommended for daily consumption, a statement declaring that the product contained a specified amount of a nutrient could be misleading.”


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