The reports are of over 80 lawsuits against companies which were mentioned in a congressional report from February concerning the extremely dangerous levels of arsenic as well as other poisons in baby food.
The report, commissioned by the federal legislature in November of 2019, examined four harmful heavy metals that are inorganic arsenic (inorganic arsenic) as well as lead, cadmium, and mercury. It was reported that the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have declared that they pose a threat to human health, especially to infants and children particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects they cause. Low exposure levels can result in serious and frequently irreparable damage to the brain’s development as per the report.
On November. 6 in 2019, after reports of the high levels of heavy metals that are toxic in baby food the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy demanded internal documents as well as test results from a few of the most prominent producers of infant food products across the United States, including makers of organic and conventional items. Arsenic was found in infant food products made by all the companies that were contacted by congress.
The companies listed in the report are Beech-Nut the Earth’s best organic, HappyBABY, Happy Family Organics, Gerber, Parent’s Choice, Plum Organics, and Sprout Organic Foods.
The month of March saw several plaintiffs submit a petition to bring their heavy metal baby food lawsuits against manufacturers of baby food before a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in which the majority of cases are in the process.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation refused to accept the transfer on the 7th of June ruling that the cases were too particular to the defendant.
“At the broadest basis, these actions are alike. Plaintiffs assert that the defendants intentionally sold baby food products that contained heavy metals, but did not make this clear in their advertising. It isn’t in dispute, however, that each defendant makes markets, distributes, and sells its baby food items that are subject to various manufacturing methods suppliers, processes, and quality control protocols,” the judicial panel declared.
“The allegations against each defendant will likely be based on specific particular facts for that defendant, like the number of heavy metals used in its products as well as the results of its internal tests, if they exist, and the marketing strategies of its company.”
The lawsuits are mainly families of parents who argue that the toxins in baby food contributed to the formation of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) within their children.
Beech-Nut discontinues rice cereal
In June of 2021, the Beech-Nut Nutrition Co. initiated the recall of some of its rice cereals for infants due to the high concentration of arsenic. The company is now planning to end the sale of infant rice cereal as it believes it will not be able to adhere to the guidelines shortly.
“The security of infants and children is the top concern of Beech-Nut,” said Jason Jacobs, Beech-Nut’s vice president of quality and safety in food.
“We have decided to issue this recall voluntarily, as we found out from routine sampling conducted by state officials from the State of Alaska that only a small portion of Beech-Nut single grain rice cereal items contained levels of naturally occurring arsenic inorganic that was higher than the FDA guidelines even that the rice flour used in the production of these products tested lower than the FDA guideline level for organic arsenic,” stated Jason Jacobs, vice president, Food Safety and Quality.
The recall is in line with the FDA guidelines for the level of limits on arsenic from inorganic sources in cereals for infants that were set in August 2020. There are no restrictions on arsenic levels in other infant food items or for other heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury, despite the potential health risk for children.