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Testing revealed that the baby foods contained dangerously high levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

The test results and internal company documents revealed that all four responding companies’ – Nurture (HappyBABY and Happy Family Organics), Beech-Nut, Hain Celestial Group (Earth’s Best Organics), and Gerber – baby foods contained arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Nurture (HappyBABY) was the only company that tests for Mercury, with test results showing unsafe levels.

As of June 2021, the FDA has not issued a recall for any of the involved manufacturers’ baby foods.

Baby Food Contamination 

Parents should be able to expect that the food they purchase to feed their children is safe for consumption. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. A recent government report on toxic heavy metals in baby foods has parents rightfully angry, concerned, and looking for answers.

The Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, a branch of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, published a report that confirmed that several commercial baby food manufacturers knowingly sold foods containing unsafe levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have identified these metals as dangerous to children’s health, with even low levels of exposure being associated with neurological disorders and other complications and injuries.

The report states that the companies’ ­­– Beech-Nut, Gerber, Hain (Earth’s Best Organic), and Nurture (Happy Family Organics and HappyBABY) – products contained “dangerous levels” of the contaminants. Studies have specifically linked toxic metal exposure to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, brain damage in babies, cancers, and other serious health problems. If your child developed complications after consuming these products, you and your family could be eligible to file a baby food contamination lawsuit. Read on or Contact Tor Hoerman Law to learn more.

 

Toxic Heavy Metals Found in Baby Food Products

A congressional investigation revealed that four major baby food manufacturers knowingly sold food containing high levels of toxic metals. The levels dangerously exceed recommendations set by experts and governing bodies, a decision that could have devastating consequences for children who consumed these foods. The House Oversight Committee said that both the companies and the FDA failed to take proper action.

Documents revealed that the food manufacturers’ standards permit dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals, while many of them also admitted to under testing the amount of metals present. The investigation also uncovered that the FDA received information in 2019 revealing that the companies’ foods were tainted with toxic metals. The FDA took no new action in response.

 

Which Heavy Metals Were Found in Baby Food?

Testing revealed that the baby foods contained dangerously high levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Exposure to the metals – listed in the World Health Organization’s 10 chemicals of concern for infants and Children – can cause “permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children.” Toxic heavy metal exposure endangers infants’ neurological development and long-term brain functioning. These metals are naturally present in the soil but reach unsafe levels partially because of industrial pollution and the overuse of metal-containing pesticides.

 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), arsenic is ranked number one among substances in the environment that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. Arsenic exposure’s known health risks include immunological, neurological, respiratory, hematological, gastrointestinal, hepatic, skin, and renal effects. It has also been proven to have damaging effects on children’s central nervous systems and cognitive development; for every 50% increase in levels of arsenic exposure, there is an approximately 0.4 IQ decrease for children.

Cadmium is ranked number seven on ATSDR’s list of substances in the environment that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. Cadmium exposure is associated with the development of ADHD and decreases in IQ. Studies have shown that ADHD was more common among children with higher levels of cadmium exposure. Researchers also discovered a significant inverse relationship between Full-Scale IQ and early cadmium exposure.

Lead is second on the ATSDR list of substances in the environment that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. Lead exposure is tied to a wide range of poor health outcomes, including decreased cognitive functioning, behavioral issues, delayed puberty, and reduced postnatal growth. Even low levels of exposure have proven to be hazardous, particularly for infants and children. The cognitive effects of early exposure appear to be long-term, with studies showing adults who were exposed during childhood to have persistent cognitive defects.

Mercury is number three on the ATSDR list of substances in the environment that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. Higher blood mercury levels for children ages 2 and three were associated with autistic behaviors. Most studies on mercury and childhood development have been conducted testing the mother’s exposure, with findings revealing that prenatal mercury exposure is tied to adverse neuro-development.

Baby Food Brands with Heavy Metals

Following reports that alleged that popular baby foods contained unsafe levels of toxic heavy metals, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy requested test results and internal documents from seven of the United State’s largest baby food manufacturers.

Four of the companies ­— Nurture (HappyBABY and Happy Family Organics), Beech-Nut, Hain Celestial Group (Earth’s Best Organics), and Gerber — responded to the subcommittee’s request. The others — Wal-Mart (Parent’s Choice), Campbell Soup Company (Plum Organics), and Sprout Organic Foods — refused to cooperate with the investigation. The findings revealed food from all four of the complying companies contained significant levels of toxic heavy metals.

 

Which Products Had Heavy Metals?

The test results and internal company documents revealed that all four responding companies’ – Nurture (HappyBABY and Happy Family Organics), Beech-Nut, Hain Celestial Group (Earth’s Best Organics), and Gerber – baby foods contained arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Nurture (HappyBABY) was the only company that tests for Mercury, with test results showing unsafe levels. Products containing heavy metals include:

 

Nurture (HappyBaby and Happy Family Organics)

Over 25% of Nurture’s baby food products that were sold tested for inorganic arsenic levels above 100 parts per billion (ppb). A list of the products can be found on page 14 of the Congressional Report. Of the company’s 206 finished products it tested for lead, 16 registered over the EU’s lenient 20 ppb standards (page 23). 65% of Nurture’s finished baby food products (page 31) tested for more than 5 ppb cadmium, the EPA limit for drinking water. The company sold 56 products that exceeded the EPA’s mercury standard (page 32).

 

Beech-Nut

Beech-Nut does not regularly test finished products for arsenic, but it does test individual ingredients. Testing data shows that at least 45 ingredients contained more than 100 ppb of arsenic, found on page 17 of the Congressional Report. 57 of the company’s ingredients contained over 20 ppb of lead (pages 23-24). Beech-Nut used twenty ingredients that tested over 100 ppb cadmium (page 29).

 

Hain (Earth’s Best Organics)

Hain only tested for arsenic levels in its individual ingredients. Page 16 of the Congressional Report reveals the 24 ingredients that contain more than 100 ppb of arsenic. Hain used 88 ingredients with lead levels exceeding 20 ppb (page 27). The company used 14 ingredients with more than 100 ppb cadmium (page 30).

 

Gerber

Gerber did not provide the levels of inorganic arsenic for all of its ingredients. However, the company used 72 batches of flour that contained 90+ ppb of inorganic arsenic, listed on page 19 of the Congressional Report. Gerber produced limited lead testing results; however, its products containing sweet potatoes (page 28) showed significantly high levels of lead. 75% of the carrots Gerber used contained cadmium levels exceeding the EPA’s drinking water standards (page 32).

 

3 Producers Decline to Submit Documentation

Walmart (Parent’s Choice), Campbell (Plum Organics), and Sprout Organic Foods — three of the United State’s largest baby food manufacturers — refused to cooperate with the House Subcommittee’s investigative report. The subcommittee reported that none of the baby food companies produced testing results and Sprout never responded to the subcommittee’s repeated inquiries. The report states the subcommittee’s concerns that the four companies’ products might contain even higher levels of toxic heavy metals than those of their competitors who complied with the report.

 

Baby Food Toxic Heavy Metal Injuries

The United States Food and Drug Administration has not set standards for the minimum levels of heavy metals in baby foods. Exposure to these toxic heavy metals has been linked to cancers, behavioral problems, chronic diseases, and neurotoxic effects — and experts say that the devastating damage these metals can have makes baby food toxicity especially critical. From conception to two years of age, babies are especially sensitive to neurotoxic chemicals. Exposure interrupts the brain’s natural formation and can have life-long consequences.

 

ADHD

Research shows a strong connection between cadmium and lead exposure to attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in infants and children. ADHD is a mental health disorder associated with hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and difficulty concentrating. Significant levels of both cadmium and lead were present in baby foods of all four responding companies.

 

Cancer

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders have linked children’s exposure to heavy metals to several forms of cancer. Arsenic toxicity has been tied to increased rates of skin, kidney, liver, and bladder cancer. Significant levels of arsenic were present in baby foods of all four responding companies.

 

Neurotoxic Effects

Research shows that arsenic is a human developmental neurotoxicant. This means that toxic exposure to arsenic early in life can lead to impaired cognitive functioning, motor skills, verbal abilities, and memory. Significant levels of arsenic were present in baby foods of all four responding companies.

 

Cardiovascular Damage

Arsenic is linked to cardiovascular disease and damage. Cadmium is also linked to hypertension. Significant levels of both arsenic and cadmium were present in baby foods of all four responding companies.

 

Chronic Diseases

Overexposure to arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury is linked to a wide variety of chronic diseases. These include nerve diseases of the extremities (peripheral neuropathy), kidney disease, and non-inflammatory degenerative disease of the nerves (polyneuropathy). Significant levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead were present in baby foods of all four responding companies. Mercury was detected in sold finished baby food products of Nurture (HappyBABY), the only responding company that tested for it.

 

Brain Damage

Exposure to heavy metals during infancy can, according to the World Health Organization, lead to “untreatable and frequently permanent” brain damage. This includes reduced intelligence (expressed in lower IQ scores) and disruptions in behavior. A recent study found that overexposure to lead and other toxic heavy metals is associated with roughly 1.57 lost IQ points in 25.5 million children.

 

Compromised Immune Systems

Early-life exposure to inorganic arsenic is tied to immune system suppression and disease. While arsenic’s effects on the immune system are still poorly understood, but growing bodies of evidence indicate that exposure to the metal likely alters cellular functioning and the immune system’s ability to defend against pathogens. Arsenic was present in the baby foods of all four responding companies.

 

Congressional Report Recommendations

In its report on toxic heavy metals in baby foods, the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee offers several recommendations:

  • Mandatory testing: The FDA should require baby food manufacturers to test their finished products, not just their ingredients, for toxic heavy metals.
  • Labeling: The FDA should require labels that report levels of toxic heavy metals on food labels.
  • Voluntary phase-out of toxic ingredients: Manufacturers should voluntarily find substitutes for or phase out products that are high in toxic heavy metals.
  • FDA standards: The FDA should set levels for the maximum levels of toxic heavy metals permitted in baby food. This level should protect infants from the neurological effects of toxic heavy metals.
  • Parental vigilance: Parents should avoid baby foods that contain ingredients that test high in toxic heavy metals such as rice products.

 

Baby Food Recall

As of June 2021, the FDA has not issued a recall for any of the involved manufacturers’ baby foods. However, the agency has released new acceptable levels of heavy metals and a multi-year plan to limit infant exposure. For families whose children have already been exposed to unsafe levels of toxic heavy metals, the agency’s action might be too late.

 

Filing a Toxic Baby Food Lawsuit

If your child was exposed to unsafe levels of toxic heavy metals in baby foods, you could be eligible for a toxic baby food lawsuit. The following information will help you determine if you are eligible and the steps you should take. Familiarize yourself with the steps of the civil litigation process and be sure to file within your state’s statute of limitations.

If you have any questions or concerns, you are welcome to reach out to TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

 

Do I have a claim?

You and your family might have a valid claim if your child consumed Beech-Nut, Gerber, Hain (Earth’s Best Organic), or Nurture (Happy Family Organics and HappyBABY) products, or other baby food products from manufacturers that refused to correspond with the Congressional committee, and subsequently developed autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, brain damage, or other toxic baby food injuries or complications.

 

 Should I file a lawsuit or join a class action?

If your child suffered injuries related to heavy metal exposure subsequent to consuming any of the aforementioned products, you should consider filing a toxic baby food lawsuit. Depending on the number of claims filed against these manufacturers, there may be a mass tort toxic baby food lawsuit filed against the manufacturers in the future.

Use our chatbot to take a free, instant online quiz to find out if you qualify right now.

If your child did not suffer injuries but you would like to take legal action against the manufacturers for falsifying information and putting your child at risk, you should consider joining a class-action lawsuit.

If you have any questions regarding the type of legal action you should take, please contact TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

 

What to Do If Your Child was Injured

If your child suffered injuries associated with heavy metal consumption and had prior consumed any of the previously mentioned products, you should immediately:

 

Seek Medical Attention                     

It’s crucial that you mitigate your child’s injuries. This involves seeking immediate medical care, diagnosis, and treatment. Mitigation is important for both your child’s health and the strength of your case. It’s also crucial to gather evidence including any related documents, bills, and records.

 

Contact a Baby Food Contamination Lawyer

Once you’ve taken care of your child’s injuries and gathered relevant evidence, it’s time to start seeking legal aid and hire an experienced baby food contamination lawyer.

Hiring an attorney can greatly increase your chances of successful litigation. Your attorney will be able to navigate the legal system, assess your damages, gather evidence, establish liability, and fight for you and your family while you focus on what is really important, your child’s recovery.

 

Hiring a Toxic Baby Food Lawyer

TorHoerman Law is exploring possible Toxic Baby Food lawsuits. Our law firm specializes in a variety of toxic tort lawsuits. We will help you and your family navigate the legal system and help you build the best case possible. We offer free, zero-obligation case consultations for all potential clients. We also work on contingency fees, meaning we don’t charge our clients until they have received compensation.

To date, TorHoerman Law has successfully won more than $4 billion for our clients, injured at no fault of their own. Our dedicated team of attorneys has more than a century of combined legal experience. Our staff has served thousands of clients nationwide and we are ready to serve you.

Contact a toxic baby food lawyer at TorHoerman today to learn about your potential case and legal options today.

 

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