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Does Baby Food Contain Heavy Metals?

Congressional Investigation Confirms Presence of Toxic Heavy Metals in Leading Baby Food Brands

The safety of some of the top-selling baby foods on the market is coming under question as a second congressional investigation confirms high levels of toxic heavy metals in the products. Often sold as “organic” or “all-natural,” consumers are now being warned to stay away from certain well-known baby food brands.

Ingestion of heavy metals can be extremely harmful to infants and toddlers, potentially resulting in neurological damage (brain damage), including severe ADHD and, possibly, autism. At Riddle & Brantley, we believe companies must be held accountable for putting potentially dangerous products on the market.

If you fed your child a baby food containing heavy metals and they were later diagnosed with a brain injury, behavioral or cognitive problem like ADHD or autism, contact our office at 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation concerning a potential baby food lawsuit.

Toxic Heavy Metals Found in Baby Food

Does Baby Food Contain Heavy MetalsAfter receiving reports of potentially high levels of heavy metal in multiple baby food products, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy began an investigation. 

The results of the investigation were released in a Staff Report on February 4, 2021, confirming that certain leading baby food manufacturers were selling products that contained dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals. 

The Congressional Report found that these baby foods were tainted with dangerous levels of:

  • Inorganic arsenic
  • Lead
  • Cadmium 
  • Mercury

In addition, the subcommittee found that the baby food industry remains mostly unregulated, relying instead on industry-led self-regulation. The investigation revealed that many of the internal standards set by manufacturers allowed for dangerously high levels of heavy metals, thus potentially failing to protect consumers from an unsafe product.

Baby Foods Known to Contain Heavy Metals

In its investigation, the congressional subcommittee asked seven of the largest baby food manufacturers to submit internal documents and test results regarding the levels of heavy metals in their products.

Manufacturers included in the initial Congressional report were:

  • Nurture, Inc. (Nurture) – sells Happy Family Organics and HappyBABY
  • Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (Beech-Nut)
  • Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Hain) – sells Earth’s Best Organic
  • Gerber
  • Campbell Soup Company (Campbell) – sells Plum Organics (later sold to Sun-Maid)
  • Walmart – sells Parent’s Choice
  • Sprout Foods, Inc. (Sprout Organic Foods)

Only four responded to the request (Nurture, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Gerber), while the other three companies (Walmart, Campbell, and Sprout) reportedly refused to fully cooperate. Internal testing from the four manufacturers indicated that the baby food contained higher levels of heavy metals than allowed under existing regulations for other products. 

The investigation also found that certain baby food companies relied on individual ingredient testing instead of final product testing. In final products, heavy metal levels were significantly higher; for instance, in a certain Hain baby food product, inorganic arsenic alone was between 28% and 93% higher in the finished product.

Congressional Follow-Up Report on Heavy Metals in Baby Foods

In September 2021, the subcommittee released a follow-up report, “New Disclosures Show Dangerous Levels of Toxic Metals in Even More Baby Foods.” The report focused on the three companies that had allegedly failed to cooperate. It confirmed the subcommittee’s concerns about a lack of standards, regulation, and lax approach to testing. 

Furthermore, it concluded that the industry standard of individual ingredient testing is flawed, inaccurate, and dangerous. Ultimately, both reports alleged that manufacturers knowingly sold tainted baby food to consumers despite internal testing, which showed high levels of toxic heavy metals. None of the products tested contained labels warning of the potential danger.

Protecting Your Child from Toxic Heavy Metals

The subcommittee is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require mandatory testing and labeling of heavy metals in baby food products. They are also asking that new standards be written to ensure that infants and toddlers are provided with safe products.

As noted in the reports, there is no “safe level” of heavy metal in baby food. The goal of all manufacturers should be to ensure there is no measurable level of heavy metals in any baby or toddler foods. Even low levels of exposure can cause “serious and often irreversible damage to brain development.”

If your child was diagnosed with ADHD, autism, or brain injury after consuming baby food contaminated with a heavy metal, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact our baby food lawsuit attorneys at 1-800-525-7111 today to discuss your rights and your legal options.

Beech-Nut Recall

In June 2021, Beech-Nut issued a voluntary recall of one lot of their Stage 1, Single Grain Rice Cereal after samples indicated a high level of inorganic arsenic in the product. 

The company further announced that they would be exiting the market for single-grain rice cereals over concerns about the “ability to consistently obtain rice flour well-below the FDA guidance level” and the company’s internal standards for inorganic arsenic. 

Other companies have not followed suit, despite high levels of heavy metals being found in their finished products. The subcommittee has said that levels continue to be underreported and that manufacturers knowingly keep toxic products on the market. Heavy metal exposure at a young age may endanger “neurological development and long-term brain function,” potentially causing such cognitive and behavioral problems as ADHD and even autism.

Discuss Your Claim with a Baby Food Lawsuit Lawyer Today

If your child was fed baby food known to contain heavy metals and was later diagnosed with a developmental delay, neurological damage, or behavioral problems, contact our office— Call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. 

All baby food lawsuit claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover financial compensation on your (and your child’s) behalf. Get the legal representation you need and deserve. At Riddle & Brantley, we fight for justice, working tirelessly to hold liable manufacturers accountable for their wrongdoing.