Allegations in a class action lawsuit filed last month against Gerber claim its infant formula, baby food and drinks have been falsely advertised as free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The suit says that, contrary to Gerber’s advertising, the products contain high concentrations of GMO corn, soy, and other genetically-modified ingredients that can harm a child’s development.
Related: Toxic Baby Food Lawsuit
Filed in the United States District Court Northern District of California on December 22, 2021, the complaint (PDF) seeks class action status for people nationwide who paid a premium price for Gerber baby foods based on the company’s non-GMO advertising claims.
Genetically modified (GMO) foods are those altered in unnatural ways. Many crops such as corn, soybeans, potatoes, and beets are often perverted with GMO technologies. Many of these foods have been genetically altered to resist the harmful effects of “herbicides” directly sprayed on them to kill bugs and pests which might otherwise eat or harm the crops. Those same alterations, meanwhile, have also been shown to harm the human gut and infant development.
Gerber Baby Food Lawsuits
The Gerber lawsuit alleges that several brands of infant and baby food products are deceptively marketed as being GMO free. The complaint states that the baby food products “are in fact loaded with ingredients derived from GM-crops such as corn and soy, and many of Defendant’s Products also contain protein and/or dairy sources derived from cows raised on GMO feed”.
The petition claims Gerber has falsely marketed all Gerber-branded food or drink products purporting to be “NON GMO” and “GMO Free.”
The products include:
- Gerber Good Start Soy 2
- Powder Infant & Toddler Formula
- Gerber Good Start Soy Infant Formula
- Gerber Oatmeal & Barley Toddler Cereals
- Dozens of other infant formulas, baby cereals, drinks, food
Charge: Highly Deceptive, Outright False Labeling
The Gerber class action lawsuit also claims the products not only contain GMOs, but also several artificial ingredients genetically engineered in laboratory settings with biotechnologies. Consequently, says the suit, Gerber’s claims of “Non-GMO” on the products’ labeling are highly deceptive and are even outright false.
The complaint argues that people wish to purchase products free of GMOs due to the benefits of natural, healthier, more wholesome foods. Many parents also try to avoid exposing infants and young children to GMO side effects, pesticides, and toxins. Many savvy shoppers also consider the environmental benefits of naturally grown food, versus the harmful impact of GMO foods on Mother Earth and her inhabitants.
The petition also claims that consumers paid a premium for products alleged to be free of GMOs. It charges that they would have chosen a different product or paid significantly less if they had known the Gerber products contained GMOs. The complaint also alleges that Gerber is taking advantage of a growing consumer market – interested in non GMOs – by using false and misleading claims.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages for all class members. It raises allegations that include:
- unjust enrichment
- several other consumer rights violations
Toxic Baby Food Lawsuits
Gerber also faces several baby food lawsuits filed since it was discovered that Gerber products contain toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. These toxic materials may expose children to long-term complications that include autism and severe ADHD.
Other Baby Food Makers Under Fire
Gerber and several other baby food makers have also come under recent fire for making and/or selling toxic baby food. One case recently filed in Illinois alleges that infant formula killed a premature baby.