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Toxic Baby Food Lawsuit

Lawsuits are being filed over a 2021 congressional report on baby food laced with toxic materials including arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, and perchlorate. The report alleges “dangerously high” levels of those heavy metals and toxins have been found in several popular brands of baby food.

Three Views for Legal Proceedings

One group in April 2021 filed papers proposing that a multi-district litigation court be set up in the Easter District of New York to centralize these cases. A different group of plaintiffs’ lawyers have argued for setting up company-specific MDLs in venues where the companies are headquartered. A third group of plaintiffs, in addition to all of the defendants in these cases, argue against setting up any form of MDL court on the grounds that all the cases are different.

Plaintiffs’ Arguments

Plaintiffs have argued that these products are being marketed to young Millenials with young children who would not foresee dangerous neurotoxins in baby food

FDA Limits, Regulations re: Neurotoxins in Baby Food

Arsenic: FDA has set a limit of 100 ppb inorganic arsenic for infant rice cereal. This limit applies only to rice cereals, not other baby food products.

The Baby Food Safety Act, H.R. 2229, would set 10 ppb inorganic arsenic cap on baby food generally with a 15 ppb inorganic arsenic cap on infant cereal

Lead: There is currently no limit in baby food, while the lead limit for drinking water is 5 ppb . The proposed Baby Food Safety Act would set a limit of 5 ppb lead cap on baby food, and a 10 ppb lead cap on infant cereal

Cadmium: There is currently no limit for cadmium in baby food, while there is a 5 ppb cap for drinking water  The Baby Food Safety Act would set a 5 ppb cadmium  cap on baby food, 10 ppb cap on infant cereal

Mercury:  The Baby Food Safety Act would set a 2 ppb cap generally on mercury.

Dangerous Neurotoxins Levels

Lead: dangerous levels 17-27 ppb; concerning levels 7-17 ppb; safer levels 0-7 ppb

Inorganic Arsenic: dangerous levels 75-100 ppb; concerning levels 40-75 ppb; safer levels 0-40 ppb.

Cadmium: dangerous levels 25-50ppb; concerning levels 10-25 ppb; safer levels 0-10 ppb

Mercury: dangerous levels 3-4 ppb; concerning levels 1-3 ppb; safer levels 0-1 ppb.

Perchlorate: dangerous above 1 ppb to any child. This is the public health goal for perchlorate in water in California.

Investigation by Healthy Baby’s Futures (consumer advocacy group)

An investigation by Healthy Baby’s Futures selected 168 individual containers of 13 different food types under 61 baby food brand names. It tested for 4 toxic heavy metals — arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Just 9 of 168 containers had no detected toxic metals

“Bad Baby Foods”: These brands had the highest levels of heavy metals than the rest of the group. Specifically, baby & toddler food brands that had between 17-27 ppb of lead, between 75-1000 ppb of inorganic arsenic, 25-50 ppb of cadmium, 3-4 ppb of mercury, or any perchlorate landed here. Because perchlorate is so incredibly toxic to the baby’s development, we have those brands highlighted.

Beech-Nut

  • Beech-Nut Rice Single Grain Baby Cereal (high arsenic, low lead, low cadmium)
  • Beech-Nut Oatmeal Whole Grain Baby Cereal (lead, cadmium, perchlorate)
  • Beech-Nut Organics Just Carrots (perchlorate)
  • Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Carrots (high lead, cadmium, mercury)
  • Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes Stage 2 (high lead, cadmium)
  • Beech-Nut Classics Mixed Vegetables Stage 2 (high lead)

Earth’s Best

  • Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity DHR/ARA Infant Formula with Iron (perchlorate)
  • Earths Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal (high arsenic, high lead, cadmium, mercury)
  • Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Baked Corn Puffs (high cadmium)
  • Earth’s Best Organic Spinach and Potato Baby Food 6 months (perchlorate)

Gerber

  • Gerber Multigrain Cereal (arsenic, lead, high cadmium, mercury, perchlorate)
  • Gerber Rice Single Grain Cereal (arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, perchlorate)
  • Gerber Oatmeal Single Grain Cereal (Lead, cadmium, perchlorate)
  • Gerber Whole Wheat Whole Grain Cereal (Lead, arsenic, cadmium, perchlorate)
  • Gerber Barley Single Grain Cereal (Lead, cadmium, perchlorate)
  • Gerber Diced Carrots Veggie Pickups (lead, high cadmium, mercury)
  • Gerber Carrot Sitter 2nd Food (lead, high cadmium, mercury)
  • Gerber Carrot Supported Sitter 1st Goods (lead, high cadmium, mercury)
  • Gerber Sweet Potato Supported Sitter 1st Foods Tub (high lead, cadmium)
  • Gerber Sweet Potato Sitter 2nd Foods (high lead, cadmium)
  • Gerber Fruit & Veggie Melts Truly Tropical Blend Free Dried Fruit & Vegetable Snack (lead, high cadmium)
  • Gerber Arrowroot Biscuits (lead, high cadmium) 

HappyBABY (Nature, Inc. selling Happy Family Organics)

  • HappyBABY Organic Oats & Quinoa Baby Cereal Whole Grains with Iron (perchlorate)
  • HappyBABY Organic Baby Cereal, Clearly Crafted Whole Grains (perchlorate)
  • HappyBABY Organic Simple Combos Apples, Spinach & Kale (perchlorate)
  • HappyBABY Superfoods Puffs- Apple & Broccoli Organic Grain Snack (high arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury)
  • HappyBABY Superfood Puffs – Sweet Potato & Carrot Organic Grain Snack (high arsenic, cadmium, mercury)
  • HappyBABY Organic Rice Cakes Puffed Rice Snack – Apple (arsenic, high mercury) 

Plum Organics

  • Plum Organics Mighty Morning Bar Blueberry Lemon 15 months (cadmium, perchlorate)

Walmart:

  • Parents Choice (Walmart) Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks (arsenic, high lead, mercury)
  • Parents Choice (Walmart) Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snacks Stage 3 (high cadmium)
  • Parents Choice (Walmart) Carrot Stage 2 (perchlorate)

Kroger:

  • Comforts (Kroger) Blueberry Little Puffs Cereal Snack (arsenic, lead, high cadmium)
  • Simple Truth Organics (Kroger) Whole Grain Puffs Broccoli & Spinach (high arsenic, lead, cadmium, high mercury)

Sprout

  • Sprout Organic Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack – Apple Kale (arsenic, high lead, high cadmium, mercury)

Other Brands

  • Baby Mum-Mum Banana Rice Rusks (arsenic, mercury, perchlorate)
  • BioKinetics Brown Rice Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Baby Cereal (high arsenic, lead, high cadmium, mercury)
  • Cream of Wheat Instant Original Flavor (high lead, high cadmium)
  • Cuetara Animalitos Galleta Crackers (Animal Crackers) (high cadmium)
  • Deluxe Pasta Macaroni & Cheese, Original Flavor (lead, high cadmium)
  • Healthy Times Organic Brown Rice Cereal (high lead, high arsenic, cadmium, mercury, perchlorate)
  • Kitchdee Organic Baby Cereal Rice and Lentil (lead, high arsenic, cadmium, high mercury)
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese Dinner, Original Flavor (cadmium)
  • Nosh! Baby Munchabes Organic Teething Wafers- Banana & Mango (arsenic, high mercury)
  • NurturMe Organic Quinoa Cereals–Quinoa & sweet potato & raisin (arsenic, high lead, cadmium, perchlorate)
  • O Organics (Albertsons/Safeway) Organic Puffs- Apple & Strawberry (high arsenic, lead, cadmium, high mercury)
  • Similac Advance OptiGRO Powder (perchlorate)
  • SOBISK Breakfast Biscuits Golden Oat (high lead)

CONCERNING LEVELS: between 7-17 ppb lead; 40-75 ppb inorganic arsenic; 10-25 ppb cadmium, and/or 1-3 ppb of mercury.

Beech-Nut:

  • Beech-Nut Naturals Just Sweet Potatoes Stage 1 (lead, cadmium) 

Earth’s Best

  • Earth’s Best Organic Oatmeal Cereal (Arsenic, Lead, cadmium)
  • Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes Baby Food 4 months+ (lead, cadmium)
  • Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes Baby Food 6 months+ (lead, cadmium)
  • Earth’s Best Organic Chicken & Brown Rice Baby Food 6 months (arsenic, lead)
  • Earth’s Best Sunny Days Snack Bars – Sweet Potato Carrot (cadmium) 

Gerber:

  • Gerber Sweet Potato Supported Sitter 1st Foods (lead, cadmium)
  • Gerber Organic Mango Apple Carrot Kale Sitter 2nd Foods (cadmium)
  • Gerber Carrot Pear Blackberry Sitter 2nd Foods (cadmium)
  • Gerber Mashed Potatoes & Gravy with Roasted Chicken and a Side of Carrots (cadmium)
  • Gerber Puffs Banana Cereal Snack (lead, cadmium) 

HappyBABY

  • HappyBABY Organic Teethers Blueberry & Purple Carrot Sitting Baby (mercury) 

Sprout

  • Sprout Carrot Apple Mango Organic Baby Food (cadmium) 

Other Brands:

  • Happy Tot Love My Veggies Bowl, Cheese & Spinach Ravioli with Organic Marinara Sauce (lead, cadmium)
  • Harvest Hill Instant Oatmeal, Maple & Brown Sugar (lead, cadmium)
  • Little Duck Organics 100% Pressed Fruit Snacks & Probiotics Pomegranate, Blueberry & Acai (lead)
  • Little Dutch Maid Saltine Crackers (cadmium)
  • Meijer Apple Rice Rusks Baked Rice Snack (mercury)
  • Meijer True Goodness Organic Teethers Baked Rice Snack Vegetable (mercury)
  • Nostalgia Marias Cookies Galletas (cadmium)
  • Enfamil ProSobee Soy Infant Formula, Milk-Free Lactose-Free Powder (lead, cadmium)
  • Foods with highest levels of Heavy Metal:
  • (1) Infant Rice Cereal and Puff snacks made of rice
  • (2) fruit juice
  • (3) carrots and sweet potatoes

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