When parents buy baby food, they trust that it will be safe and healthy for their infants. Unfortunately, research has shown that many baby foods contain trace amounts of toxic heavy metals, which can cause adverse effects for consumers.
Law firms across the country have begun preparing mass torts and other civil suits against baby food manufacturers. These cases seek financial compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by heavy metal consumption in infants.
If your infant has consumed a baby food product containing heavy metals and experienced ill effects, you may be able to seek compensation. Read on to learn more about heavy metals in baby food and the ongoing mass torts on this issue.
Background and Overview
On February 4, 2021, Congress released a report that examined the presence of heavy metals in infant food products. This report was part of a more extensive investigation into manufacturing processes and internal testing data.
Two years before releasing this report, Congress asked seven major baby food manufacturers to provide test results and internal documents. This request came after Congress learned of potentially high levels of toxic chemicals in the companies’ baby food products.
Congress asked the following companies to provide these documents:
- Beech-Nut Nutrition Company
- Nurture, Inc. (Happy Family Organics)
- Hain Celestial Group (Earth’s Best Organic)
- Campbell Soup Company (Plum Organics)
- Sprout Foods Inc.
- Walmart, Inc. (Parent’s Choice)
Beech-Nut, Nurture, Hain Celestial, and Gerber responded to this request, while Walmart, Sprout, and Campbell refused to provide evidence. As a result, the Congressional subcommittee concluded that these three companies may have purposefully hidden the presence of toxic chemicals in their products.
After further testing, Congress found that all seven of these baby food companies had high levels of inorganic arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead in their products. Some of these products contained heavy metals at levels 177 times the levels permitted in bottled water.
Congress’s February 4th report contained information about the toxic substances in these baby food products. Congress then issued another statement in September 2021, calling out the manufacturers that initially failed to comply with testing. This report also criticized manufacturers for failing to recall products containing toxic metals.
Effects of Infants Consuming Heavy Metals
Heavy metal exposure can produce severe health conditions in infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that lead exposure is extremely harmful to children.
Heavy metal exposure may produce a range of long-term health concerns and symptoms in infants, including:
- Brain damage
- Heart problems
- Behavioral issues
- Brain development issues
- IQ lowering
- Metabolic problems
Not every infant who ingests contaminated baby food will develop these symptoms. However, if your child does develop any of the above illnesses, heavy metal consumption could be a contributing factor.
Heavy Metals in Baby Food Legal Timeline
February 4, 2021
Congress issued the report about its findings of heavy metal contamination in baby foods. This report only included test results from the four companies that complied with testing requests: Nurture, Inc., Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Hain Celestial Group, and Gerber.
Beech-Nut Nutrition Company recalled some of its baby food products due to their toxic heavy metal content.
September 29, 2021
Congress published a second report titled “New Disclosures Show Dangerous Levels of Toxic Heavy Metals in Even More Baby Foods.” This report included testing from the three companies that failed to cooperate with initial testing requests.
February 1, 2022
The FDA began collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop the Closer to Zero (C2Z) Initiative. This plan seeks to reduce heavy metals and other toxic elements in baby and toddler foods.
March 5, 2022
The FDA announced new plans to reduce toxic elements in baby foods. For example, the FDA issued notices to baby and toddler food manufacturers asking them to consider the toxic elements in their products when conducting internal testing.
May 1, 2022
The FDA published its Closer to Zero plan on May 1, 2022. This plan details the FDA’s actions to reduce toxic elements, including heavy metals, in baby food products and foods consumed by young children. For example, the FDA plans to:
- Set action levels
- Advance research and evaluate changes in exposures to arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in foods
- Monitor progress of levels
- Increase targeted compliance
- Encourage adoption of best practices
May 24, 2022
A California judge rules that expert opinions that heavy metals in baby food cause autism and ADHD are admissible, allowing the case to proceed to trial.
What To Do If Your Infant Ingested Contaminated Baby Food Products
Numerous baby food products contain heavy metals. If you fed your child baby food from any of the seven brands above, they might have involuntarily ingested heavy metals.
However, you should keep in mind that the level of injury from baby food toxicity varies from case to case. Your baby may never develop any adverse effects from consuming these contaminated baby foods.
Additionally, your baby may develop one of the above conditions due to reasons unrelated to heavy metal consumption. Linking the above conditions to the baby food brands on our list is challenging.
However, if you believe that your child has developed adverse health conditions as a result of consuming heavy metals in baby food, you may want to pursue a claim against the baby food manufacturer.
You can join a mass tort lawsuit to present your claim against the baby food manufacturer. Many law firms have already initiated these legal cases. You can contact these law firms directly or work with your own lawyer to join a mass tort case.
Contact Mass Tort Resource Today
At Mass Tort Resource, we provide the information and resources you need to make an informed decision about joining mass torts. We’re happy to offer a free consultation to help you understand whether you have a case against baby food manufacturers for heavy metal contamination. We also educate and assist attorneys involved in mass tort litigation or wishing to become involved in mass tort litigation.
Contact us today at 844-636-7459 or fill out our online form to request your free consultation.