Teething Wafers Class Action Lawsuit Refiled Over Toxic Metals in Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic Rice Rusks
A group of parents have refiled a teething wafers class action lawsuit, which claims Kroger, Harris Teeter and other retailers sold “Simple Truth Organic” products despite knowing they contained harmful levels of toxic heavy metals.
Originally filed in October 2022, the lawsuit was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in September, claiming the plaintiffs did not specify which state laws applied in the claim.
In an amended complaint (PDF) filed on December 1, plaintiffs resolved the issue, alleging violations of state consumer protection laws in Texas, Indiana, and Washington, where they seek class action status.
Baby Food Heavy Metal Concerns
Over the past two years, Gerber, Nurture and other manufacturers have faced a growing number of similar toxic baby food lawsuits brought by parents of children with autism or ADHD, following the release of a congressional report in 2021, which found that many popular products contain high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, which may cause severe health problems and developmental challenges for children.
The U.S. Congressional report highlighted internal documents and testing products for baby food sold by Gerber (doing business as Nestlé Nutrition), 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.
Class Action Lawsuit Over Krogers Teething Wafers
The complaint was filed by Tasheba Barnett, Adele Hoffman and Chadaela Lovincey. It names The Kroger Company, doing business as Simple Truth Organic, Harris Teeter, LLC and Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. and Fred Meyer Inc. as defendants, indicating that the companies sold “Simple Truth Organic Rice Rusks Baby Teething Wafers,” which had “dangerous” levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.
The “Simple Truth” teething wafers lawsuit alleges the retailers sold the baby food as safe, failing to accurately represent the risks of high levels of toxic heavy metals to consumers who bought them for their children.
According to the complaint, independent laboratory testing of the apple and kale flavor version of Simple Truth Organic teething wafers revealed they contained 45.5 parts per billion of arsenic, 13.1 ppb of cadmium, 6.5 ppb of lead, and more than 1.7 ppb of mercury.
Those levels are high enough to raise health concerns, the lawsuit claims.
Although the manufacturers continue to maintain their baby food is safe and appropriately labeled, the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have long warned 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.
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