Gerber baby food lawsuit

Gerber Baby Food Lawsuits — Lawsuit Information Center

Current research and testing have shown that Gerber and other major brands of baby food contain dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. These harmful metals are well known to cause health complications and neurologic damage in developing children. The development of conditions such as ADHD and autism may be linked to the consumption of these toxic baby foods.

The product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are currently seeking cases from children (and their parents) who consumed contaminated Gerber baby foods and were later diagnosed with neurologic health conditions such as autism.


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  • Baby Food Autism Lawsuit
  • Class Action Lawsuits Over Toxic Metals in Baby Foods

Gerber Baby Food Found to Contain High Levels of Toxic Metals

Heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium are well known to be toxic to the human body. Many of them, such as lead and mercury, have been specifically linked to neurological problems in young children with developing brains. This is why keeping these metals away from children has been a major public health priority for many years. Unfortunately, recent research has shown that we may have actually been feeding these toxic metals to our children for years.

In 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a Staff Report entitled Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury (the “Staff Report”). The Staff Report detailed the Subcommittee’s findings from an investigation into claims that major baby foods like Gerber were being sold with high levels of toxic heavy metals. The Subcommittee investigation was based on lab test results and internal documents from baby food manufacturers.

The results of the investigation fully confirmed that Gerber and other commercial baby foods “are tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. ” The Staff Report also noted that exposure to these contaminants is harmful to infant neurological development and brain function.

Heavy Metal Levels in Gerber Baby Foods

The Staff Report found unsafe levels of heavy metals in baby food products from 7 of the largest manufacturers in the U.S., including Gerber, which is the biggest baby food manufacturer in the world. The Staff Report details the levels of toxins found in the various food brands based on testing. The levels of toxic metals in Gerber were much lower compared to other major brands, but they were still well above the maximum safe levels set by the FDA.

(a) Arsenic Levels in Gerber Baby Food

Of all the toxin heavy metals covered by the Staff Report, arsenic is considered the most hazardous. In young children, exposure to arsenic is known to cause not only neurologic problems, but it can also damage the central nervous system.

Both the FDA and the EPA have set maximum safe arsenic levels for bottled water at 10 ppb. The Staff Report found that Gerber baby food products used ingredients that contained over 90 ppb inorganic arsenic based on lab testing. This is 9 times the FDA maximum safe level.

(b) Lead Levels in Geber Baby Food

Lead is considered the second most toxic of the heavy metals that are known to post a threat to human health. Lead exposure (even at small levels) is associated with a range of bad health outcomes, particularly neurologic and cognitive developmental issues in children.

The FDA’s maximum safe level for lead is 5 ppb in drinking water, 20 ppb in juice and 100 ppb in candy products. According to the Staff Report, Geber used ingredients in its baby food that tested as high as 48 ppb for lead.

(c) Mercury Levels in Gerber Baby Food

Mercury ranks 3rd behind arsenic and lead in terms of the most harmful of the heavy metals featured in the Staff Report on baby foods. Studies have shown that pre-natal exposure to mercury can lead to adverse neurologic development. More specifically, high blood levels of mercury in toddlers have been positively associated with “autistic behaviors.”

Mercury can be harmful even at extremely low levels. The FDA has capped the maximum safe level of mercury in drinking water at 2 ppb. The Staff Report does not contain information on the levels of mercury in Geber baby foods because the Subcommittee relied on information provided by Gerber. Gerber advised the committee that is does not test for mercury in its products.

(d) Cadmium Levels in Gerber Baby Food

Cadmium ranks fourth on the list of hazardous toxic metals in baby foods. Cadmium exposure in children has been linked to lower IQ and the development of ADHD. The FDA has set the maximum safe limit for cadmium in drinking water at 5 ppb. The Staff Report found that Gerber baby food products containing carrots were contaminated with cadmium. Over 75% of Gerber’s carrot foods contained over 5 ppb cadmium and some contained up to 87 ppb.

Heavy Metals in Gerber Baby Food May Cause Autism and Other Conditions

The toxic health effects of heavy metals are well recognized, but a growing body of scientific research is beginning to specifically connect exposure to these materials to autism, ADD, and other neurologic disorders. A number of medical studies have identified a connection between regular exposure to heavy metals during gestation, infancy, and childhood and higher rates of autism.

A study published in 2014 looked at the impact of prenatal and early infancy exposures to mercury. The study concluded that mercury exposure resulted in a twofold increase in the risk of developing both autism or ADD. Three years later, a similar study on children in Korea found a similar association between mercury exposure and autism/ADD rates.

A possible connection between arsenic exposure and higher autism rates was identified in a meta-analysis study conducted by a research team at the University of Buffalo and published in 2019. A more extensive study was published the following year which found the same positive association between autism and exposure to mercury, arsenic, and cadmium during infancy.

Gerber Baby Food Autism Lawsuits

The Staff Report regarding heavy metals in baby foods like Gerber has led to a number of product liability lawsuits against Gerber by parents claiming that their children developed autism (or other disorders). These lawsuits are partly based on the findings in the Staff Report which clearly show that Gerber was aware of the fact that its baby food products contained heavy metals well above the maximum safe limits set by the FDA.

Since the Staff Report was published in February 2021, Gerber Products Company has been named as a defendant in a number of consumer class action and product liability lawsuits involving toxic metals in baby food products. Our firm is currently seeking Gerber toxic baby food lawsuits. Call today for a free consultation 800-553-8082.



Consumer Suits Against Gerber Baby Foods Dismissed

On October 17, 2022, the District Court granted Gerber Products Company’s (“Gerber”) motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit in which Plaintiffs had alleged that Gerber deceptively led consumers to believe their baby food products were “healthy” and “safe” despite allegedly containing unsafe levels of toxic metals. See In re: Gerber Products Company Heavy Metals Baby Food Litigation, No. 21-cv-269 (October 17, 2022, Memorandum Opinion and Order) (the “Order”).

Plaintiffs’ allegations had relied, in part, on reports issued by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, Committee on Oversight and Reform, titled “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury,” which allegedly found measurable levels of these heavy metals in baby food products including those sold by Gerber.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff rejected Plaintiffs’ claims holding that (1) Plaintiffs failed to state a plausible claim that they suffered an economic injury and that they were entitled to injunctive relief, and (2) the FDA should determine what foods are unsafe under the primary jurisdiction doctrine.

Plaintiffs Failed to Plead Economic Injury Sufficient to Establish Standing.

As to standing, the Court concluded that Plaintiffs’ alleged speculative risk of future harm was not enough to confer standing under either a “benefit of the bargain” or “price premium” theory. The Court explained, “Plaintiffs’ only purported basis for economic injury stems from their allegation that the [products] posed a threat of future harm…” Order at 9. Thus, Plaintiffs failed to allege sufficient facts to support a finding of economic injury because there was no “actual or imminent” injury. Id. at 9-10.

The Court rejected Plaintiff’s “benefit of the bargain” theory (i.e., plaintiff was deprived of the benefit of her bargain where, because of the seller’s deceptive act, unfair price or representation, she purchased a product that is worth less than the represented value). The Court explained, here, “Plaintiffs paid for safe and healthy food for their children and apparently received just that—the benefit of their bargain. Accepting the pleadings as alleged, Plaintiffs’ only complaint is that the [products’] levels of Heavy Metals are ‘unsatisfactory to [them]’…[w]ithout more, such an assertion does not amount to a concrete and particularized injury.” Order at 14. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ allegations lacked specificity as to the harm suffered by them, as opposed to some other more generalized risk.

For similar reasons, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s “price premium” theory (i.e., the plaintiff paid more for a product than she otherwise would have as a result of a defendant’s deception).  Here, Plaintiffs failed to allege facts “that would permit the court to determine the economic value of their alleged lost benefit without resorting to mere conjecture.” Order at 18. In other words, Plaintiffs’ complaint lacked, among other things, allegations about how much they paid or how much they would have paid if the allegedly material facts had been disclosed to them. Furthermore, Plaintiffs could not rely on comparisons to other products in the market where Plaintiffs did not allege that those products contained the desired disclosures or that the price correlated to their heavy metal content. Id.

The takeaway here is that allegations of some future generalized harm are simply not sufficient to confer Article III standing.  

The FDA Has Primary Jurisdiction to Determine Safe Amounts of Heavy Metals.

Gerber also argued for dismissal under the primary jurisdiction doctrine (i.e., the FDA, and not the Court, should determine what amounts of heavy metals are safe in these types of products). This doctrine takes “advantage of agency expertise” allowing courts to refer “issues of fact not within the conventional expertise of judges...In this way, primary jurisdiction serves judicial economy because the dispute may be decided by the administrative agency and obviate the need for court intervention.” Id. at 21 (internal citations omitted).

The Fourth Circuit considers four factors in applying this doctrine: (1) whether the issue is within the conventional experience of judges or whether it involves technical or policy considerations within the agency’s particular field of expertise; (2) whether the issue is particularly within the agency’s discretion; (3) whether there exists a substantial danger of inconsistent rulings; and (4) whether a prior application has been made to the agency. Id. at 21-22.

Here, Fourth Circuit precedent weighed in favor of finding that the FDA had primary jurisdiction. Id. 24. The resolution of Plaintiffs’ claims depends on considerations in the FDA’s field of expertise, discretion, and pending litigation related to similar issues may result in a “patchwork of decisions” varying by location, court, manufacturer, and product. Id. at 26-37. The Court also noted that the FDA is presently working on its Closer to Zero Plan, which identifies actions the FDA will take over the next few years to reduce exposure to heavy metals. We have reported elsewhere on FDA’s ambitious action plan for further reducing children’s exposure to toxic elements from foods. Although the Court noted it was not aware that the parties had made any previous application to the FDA on the issues before the Court, this alone was not enough to tip the scales.

Of significance, here, the Court dismissed the case “without prejudice,” which gives the Plaintiffs the opportunity to file an amended complaint to address the deficiencies identified in the Order. It remains to be seen if Plaintiffs will pursue this route or otherwise seek an appeal of the decision. In addition, we will be watching closely to see if jurisdictions with similar pending litigation will follow the District Court’s application of the primary jurisdiction doctrine.

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90,000 Transgenics in baby food? Nestle disputes the results of testing of its products in court

Marina Katys: In June 2004, the Genetic Safety Association published the results of independent tests conducted by the Biocom laboratory. Genetically modified organisms have been found in Nestle, Kolinska, Semper, Friesland Nutrition, Gerber, Valio and Nutricia baby food.

In response to the publication of the results of the analyzes, these companies (except Valio and Nutricia) stated at a joint press conference in Moscow that their products do not contain GMOs and that this is confirmed by the results of the research. nine0007

The conflict erupted due to the fact that, according to representatives of the Genetic Safety Association, the products of a number of manufacturers of baby food "turned out to be genetically modified and did not contain labels." Among the samples examined, baby food from Nestle, Kolinska, Semper, Friesland Nutrition, Gerber was mentioned as "containing 50 to 100 percent GMOs."

Nestle, the only one of the listed companies, expressed a desire to protect its business reputation and applied to the Moscow Arbitration Court. nine0007

Let's hear both sides.

President of the National Association for Genetic Safety Alexander Baranov.

Alexander Baranov: The court came to the conclusion that our data are reliable, the analysis presented by the opposite party (that is, the plaintiff) does not convince us that our data are erroneous and false. When we received these results, we sent all this data to those companies in which we found all this, of course. And only after that we organized a press conference and published these data there. nine0007

Marina Katys: Now let's speak to Marina Zibareva, Media Relations Specialist of the External Corporate Affairs Department of Nestlé Food LLC.

Marina Zibareva: We have all the evidence, including the results of studies by three accredited laboratories (two Russian and one foreign), confirming the absence of GMOs in our products. The association's accusations against our company (as well as others) are based on a scientific report from an unknown and non-accredited laboratory. According to the decision of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor, such a laboratory does not have officially recognized competence to perform this kind of research. nine0007

Moreover, at the last court session, we filed a petition for a forensic examination of samples of our baby food at the Institute of Nutrition. But the association protested against such an examination, explaining that, in their opinion, this could delay the process. In our opinion, this seems a little strange, since it contradicts the goals of this Association (which are stated in its charter).

As a result, the court denied our request.

We would like to emphasize once again that we are ready to conduct research of our baby food in independent laboratories and thereby confirm the absence of GMOs in baby food produced by Nestlé. Because all products that have been declared by the Association as GMO-containing are produced in Europe and meet all European standards and requirements. And in accordance with European legislation, our products do not require any labeling, because, in accordance with the preferences of consumers in Europe, we do not use modified ingredients. nine0007

Marina Katys: However, Alexander Baranov does not agree with this approach of Nestlé.

Alexander Baranov: The company flooded the court with evidence that everything is fine with them, that it carried out tests at the Institute of Nutrition, that it carried out tests at the regional Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, that it carried out tests at the German laboratory Gene Scan, which did not show the content of GMOs in baby food. But they, referring to the international experience of this kind of research and testing, completely forgot that even in the German Gene Scan laboratory, there is such a clause that says: "These results refer only to the sample from the jar that was analyzed ". And the discrepancy between the serial numbers and the date of manufacture of the samples suggests that these data cannot match. nine0007

The company could not get the series that we checked. And we took the series (the purchase was made) in the Central "Children's World" in Moscow.

Marina Katys: However, the Nestlé company also expresses some bewilderment about the position taken by representatives of the Genetic Safety Association.

Marina Zibareva: One of the arguments of the association, which was heard in court, was the statement that our company Nestle Food LLC has no legal grounds to file a lawsuit, the subject of which is products manufactured outside of Russia. Despite the fact that earlier the Association has repeatedly sent requests to our company Nestlé Food LLC to stop selling these products. But at the meeting itself, representatives of this Association stated that it was a mistake on their part to send such letters to us. nine0007

We, for our part, believe that we have all legal rights to import and sell Nestlé baby food. And we insist that Nestle Food LLC has the moral and legal right to protect its products.

Marina Katys: On November 1 of this year, the Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by Nestle Food LLC against the National Genetic Safety Association for the protection of business reputation.

Marina Zibareva, Specialist in Mass Media Relations of the Department of External Corporate Affairs of Nestlé Food LLC, continues. nine0007

Marina Zibareva: One of the arguments of the judge was an indication that our company Nestle Food LLC, in the opinion of the judge, is not directly related to the products referred to in the lawsuit. We absolutely do not agree with this, since the buyer will be able to see all our data on any packaging of Nestlé baby food products. This once again suggests that these are our products and, of course, only we have the right to protect them.

Marina Katys: But, on the other hand, the court apparently assumed that the claim should be addressed to the head office of Nestlé in Switzerland.

Marina Zibareva: You see, they didn't say that themselves, it was said in court by the Association itself that "we didn't mean Nestle Food LLC, but Nestle in Switzerland."

Marina Katys: There is another aspect to this story: according to Victoria Kolesnikova, head of the Biosafety campaign of the International Socio-Ecological Union, one of the goals of the Nestlé lawsuit was to prevent the dissemination of information. nine0007

Viktoria Kolesnikova: In the summer, when there was a preliminary court hearing, the lawyers suggested that the web administrator of the Genetic website, that is, the website of the Genetic Safety Association, be held liable. As a result, on the same day the site was sold (that is, the site had information that it was for sale). Under pressure, apparently. Because Nestlé's lawyers said that they called up the company that runs the technical server, that is, there were attempts to attract precisely those who are somehow connected with information, with the dissemination - whether technically or in content - precisely of information about the activities of Nestlé ". Although this, in my opinion, is absolutely meaningless. nine0007

Marina Katys: But let's listen to the opinion of a representative of the Nestle company. The word - Marina Zibareva.

Marina Zibareva: We do not know why this site stopped working, but we are sure that this has nothing to do with any of our actions. Unfortunately, we cannot say anything more concrete.

Marina Katys: But did you plan to file a lawsuit against the owner of the site in connection with the placement of false information? nine0007

Marina Zibareva: Yes, initially we filed an attorney's request to identify the owner of the site. And we found out that at that moment this site had already ceased to exist. That is, thus, filing our claim against the owner of this site became inappropriate.

Marina Katys: According to the Genetic Safety Association, this lawsuit aroused great interest among public organizations in Finland, Slovenia and Germany. My next interlocutor is Victoria Kolesnikova, head of the International Socio-Ecological Union's "For Biosafety" campaign. nine0007

Those products that were tested were purchased, as far as I know, in Moscow, in Detsky Mir.

Victoria Kolesnikova: Yes.

Marina Katys: But where were they produced?

Viktoria Kolesnikova: Part - in Finland, part - in Slovenia, part - in Poland. I'm not talking about Nestle, but about all brands at once.

Marina Katys: Is Nestlé a Finnish line?

Victoria Kolesnikova: Including.

Marina Katys: But those countries that have baby food production, after all, receive products directly from factories. That is, part of the products is transported to Russia, and part is sold locally.

Victoria Kolesnikova: Yes.

Marina Katys: Are they interested in the results of your research? nine0007

Viktoria Kolesnikova: I'm talking about Finland. They were very interested in the results of our research for the very reason that they were sure that there was no soy, even in lecithin.

Marina Katys: What about Poland and Slovenia?

Victoria Kolesnikova: From Poland we received letters simply with sympathy and all sorts of congratulations addressed to us. And Slovenia was also interested, because Kolinska is a brand that is produced in Slovenia, they were also sure that nothing was added there, and they would also find out. And they asked us to report the results of the trial. nine0007

Marina Katys: Alexander Baranov, President of the Genetic Safety Association, is convinced of the authenticity of the research conducted by the Biokom laboratory.

Alexander Baranov: I understand that Nestlé says that "we don't have transgenic components, so we won't label anything." But, nevertheless, if transgenic components are found in different countries, it means that the company cannot control this situation, I admit it. Therefore, on their part, checks should be more frequent, and if they find it, these products should be removed from the distribution network or labeled. nine0007

Marina Katys: You said that Nestle cannot control the presence or absence of genetically modified organisms in their food products. Do you mean that genetically modified organisms get into Nestlé products without the company's knowledge, that is, is this the specifics of the supply of primary products for processing?

Alexander Baranov: Now the situation, for example, with transgenic soybeans has already gone out of human control. Even under the most stringent conditions, transgenic plants still come across. You see, this has been put into circulation, and in order to clean it up, a lot of time and careful analysis are needed, control - not so fragmentary, but constant - over the situation with transgenic plants. nine0007

Marina Katys: I asked Marina Zibareva, Media Relations Specialist of Nestle Food's External Corporate Affairs Department, to comment on the statement that uncontrolled ingress of GM ingredients into baby food is possible.

Marina Zibareva: We pay great attention to the choice of suppliers of raw materials, as well as the raw materials themselves, which undergo a very strict assessment and verification. And of course, we only work with suppliers who supply us with non-GMO ingredients. nine0007

Marina Katys: I must say that today there is a sufficient amount of unmodified soybeans in the world, and this makes it possible - if desired, to avoid getting GM soybeans into products.

Here's what Greenpeace Russia Campaigns Director Ivan Blokov says about this.

Ivan Blokov: The fact is that there are a number of countries in the world in which either GM soy is not grown at all (Russia is one of these countries), or countries in which it is practically not grown in most regions (Brazil ). Of course, it is impossible to separate GM soybeans from non-GM soybeans - once they are mixed. But when GM soybeans are not grown in the fields in a country, you can be almost completely sure that the conventional soybeans grown will not be contaminated or will be contaminated to a minimal extent. It is quite possible to control this with instrumental methods, that is, it is possible to select and use soybeans without additional GM ingredients. nine0007

Marina Katys: But let's - as far as possible - digress from the confrontation between the Genetic Safety Association and the Nestle company.

How did the rest of the companies react to the research of the "Biocom" laboratory? - My question is addressed to Alexander Baranov.

Alexander Baranov: Some of them were outraged. Some wanted to cooperate and tried to find where exactly they had a breakthrough. Some did internal investigations, as far as I know, and it turned out that they really had a little problem in certain countries with these products - indeed, GM components got there - and they just took a number of measures and ruled it out. nine0007

Marina Katys: That is, the reaction of other companies was very constructive.

Alexander Baranov: Not everyone. There were attacks, there were shouts, there were also unpleasant negotiations. But for the most part, there were perfectly normal conversations. The same Valio, the same Kolinska, the same Nutrition: Nutrition were engaged in an internal investigation. So the company of the company is different. And only one "Nestlé" has taken such an aggressive, attacking position. Apparently, she has developed such a position all over the world, because an analysis of the situation in the world with the Nestlé company shows that she has a lot of violations both in other countries and in other indicators. And even the WHO published a special report stating that Nestlé is the main violator of the Code of Breast Milk Substitutes Manufacturers (there are certain clauses that cannot be violated, and they are signed by different countries). So, this company violates 9points is the biggest violation. Gerber is next with 5 counts.

Marina Katys: Alexander Baranov believes that after the publication of the results of research by the Biocom laboratory on the content of GM ingredients in the baby food of a number of companies, it was Nestlé that aroused the greatest sympathy from the public - as one of the oldest companies in the world. market.

Alexander Baranov: For some reason, everyone began to feel sorry for Nestlé. Yes, I respect this company, I respect all of its products. But, gentlemen, we must face the truth, and not prove to us that "this cannot be, because it can never be." This is not proof. If you have been found (and even in different countries), - gentlemen, this is a wake-up call, you need to check. Invest money. You have quite a lot of money, you invest millions and billions in advertising, in some programs - invest here. You must protect the population that will consume your products - this is my position and the position of our Genetic Safety Association. nine0007

Marina Katys: Viktoria Kolesnikova, head of the International Socio-Ecological Union's "For Biosafety" campaign, believes that Nestlé is using double standards.

Viktoria Kolesnikova: The main website of the company itself states that it is, in principle, not against this technology itself. And where the consumer is seriously concerned about this issue - it does not use genetically modified organisms. Consequently, the company has at least several lines designed for different consumers. nine0007

Marina Katys: However, Nestlé's representative Marina Zibareva gives this explanation about the company's main website.

Marina Zibareva: Nestlé shares the opinion that those ingredients that have been obtained through genetic engineering and have been recognized as safe by international organizations are safe. But this does not mean at all that we use them. Our position in Europe says the following: we do not use genetically modified ingredients in the production of our food. nine0007

Marina Katys: Child?

Marina Zibareva: In general - food, including children's food.

Marina Katys: Does all baby food come to Russia from the European continent?

Marina Zibareva: Yes, all food sold on the Russian market is produced in European factories and imported here.

Marina Katys: Finally, I would like to give the floor to a third, uninterested party, namely, Greenpeace Russia Campaigns Director Ivan Blokov.

I know that Greenpeace has also carried out research on baby food produced by various companies for the content of GM organisms in baby food. What are the results of your research?

Ivan Blokov: No GM content was found in the majority of tested foodstuffs. In particular - in the same firm "Nestlé", when we checked baby food, we did not find GM products. These studies were carried out both by the Russian laboratory and the Gene Scan laboratory in Germany. The Russian laboratory we are contacting is the laboratory of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which does not own the methods of quantitative analysis, but does a qualitative analysis, and its results have been verified together with the laboratory in Germany. That is, we just actually intercalibrated the two laboratories, their quantitative results. Unfortunately, we do not yet know of any Russian laboratory that has been tested and intercalibrated with any of the European Union laboratories. nine0007

Marina Katys: Based on your research, is baby food sold in Russia completely GMO-safe?

Ivan Blok: Most of the baby food. I won’t say everything, but most of the baby food does not contain GMOs or contains a minimal amount - at the level of 0. 1-0.2 percent of the protein contained there. Perhaps this is not surprising, because, of course, children are the most sensitive part of our society. If genetically modified organisms are really harmful, then, of course, the first to feel it will be children. So, of course, firms try to be careful. nine0007

Marina Katys: But - in principle - the content of GMOs in the diet can harm the human body?

Ivan Blokov: There have been no reliable studies of what will happen as a result of the use of GMOs. The only more or less complete studies that have been conducted are studies on a modified tomato. In this case, the gene was not added, but one of those genes that are in this tomato was withdrawn. All other studies suffer from the fact that they are either incomplete or give clear grounds for believing that there are negative consequences. nine0007

For example, studies that were conducted on rats both at the Russian Institute of Nutrition and by Mansanta (in one case - potatoes, in the other case - corn) show that rats exhibit deviations in the blood composition, a change in the size of internal organs and even a sharp increase in internal pathologies. Although the latter is not statistically proven, since in the same six or eight rats on which the studies were carried out, it is impossible to determine how statistically significant this is. But the composition of the blood of the control group and the experimental group differed absolutely reliably. nine0007

Therefore, I do not presume to suggest what exactly the consequences will be, but it clearly follows from the studies we have that there are such consequences.

Marina Katys: What if we return to the Nestle company?

Ivan Blokov: We tested baby food, and the results obtained for the Nestle company (on the samples chosen by journalists) are negative, that is, no genetically modified ingredients were found there. nine0007

Marina Katys: For more than a year, Greenpeace Russia has been conducting research on the content of GM ingredients in products presented on the Russian market. And now we can talk about a pronounced trend towards the refusal of Russian manufacturers from the use of genetically modified raw materials.

Ivan Blokov continues.

Ivan Blokov: It seems to us that this is the result of the fact that companies began to monitor what is in their products, they began to conduct checks, include conditions in contracts that it will not be genetically modified soybeans . And as a result - (I will not say that we have a complete zero: so recently, genetically modified ingredients were found in two samples out of twenty), but compared to what it was (when 30, 40, 50 percent of the samples contained GM- ingredients) it is clear that there is a decrease. It is difficult to quantify it yet, but it is clear that Russian producers are going to exclude GM ingredients from their products. nine0007

Marina Katys: How does Western Europe feel about products containing GM organisms?

Ivan Blokov: The population of Western Europe is extremely negative about products containing GM ingredients. The vast majority of the population (over 70 percent) does not want to use them, and in Western Europe there is a rather strict requirement that products containing more than 0.9 percent of the modified protein (in relation to the total protein contained) must be labeled. nine0007

But at the same time, there is one more rule that we often forget: these same percentages of the GM protein content should be in the products only by chance. If a company intentionally blends non-GM soybeans with GM soybeans, then even if the blended GM soybean content is less than 0.9 percent, the product must still be labeled as containing GM ingredients because it was intentional.

Marina Katys: What is your assessment of the prospects for GM products on the Russian market? nine0007

Ivan Blokov: It is safe to say that GM products will not be able to conquer the Russian market. First, we have very strict environmental legislation. And the two environmental impact assessments, which denied permission to grow GM products, clearly show that from this point of view, there will be no cultivation until detailed studies are carried out.

On the other hand, in our market, consumers are mostly reluctant to use GM products. Surprisingly, but this is a rather sensitive thing for the Russian population, so most companies are really trying to stop using them. The big meatpacking companies are not only refusing to use the products, but they are also trying (and often do) to set up their own control system to make sure they don't get into trouble when communicating with consumers. nine0007

Marina Katys: At the moment, the conflict between the National Association for Genetic Safety and Nestlé has not yet been resolved. Nestlé lawyers are considering filing an appeal against the decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court, and the company hopes to prove in court that they do not use genetically modified raw materials in the production of baby food.

Shortage of infant formula in the USA: why a state of emergency is introduced in cities and whether it threatens Russia

There is a severe shortage of infant formula in the United States. According to the Datasembly agency, in early May, the deficit in warehouses across the country was 43%. The crisis is so serious that dry food is delivered to certain regions on military aircraft from Europe. What happened and does the same thing happen to Russia?

What's happening to baby food in the US

In late 2021, four parents approached the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a complaint that their children had contracted a rare and dangerous bacterial infection after taking infant formula. infection with Cronobacter sakazakii, which resulted in death in two cases. Another application was filed by the parents of an infant who was hospitalized with Salmonella Newport. nine0007

On January 31, 2022, FDA inspectors came to inspect Abbott Nutrition, the largest manufacturer of infant formula in the United States, and found serious food safety violations, and found five different strains of Cronobacter there (although not among them Cronobacter sakazakii). In mid-February, at the end of the review, Abbott Nutrition recalled batches of products from stores and suspended the production line until the problem was fixed. So the country was left without the largest plant for the production of infant formula for several months - a supplier of about 20% of all mixtures in the country. nine0007 Empty shelves in the infant formula department. USA. State of Georgia. Photo: Erik S. Lesser / EPA / TASS

According to Datasembly, the states of Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas were the first to experience shortages, but now in 25 states infant formula is out of stock in 40-50% of stores, and in five states - in more than half of the outlets. In this regard, on May 18, US President Joe Biden applied the Defense Production Act and allowed the use of Department of Defense aircraft to deliver products from abroad. He also required suppliers to send ingredients to infant formula manufacturers before any other companies. And on May 22, the mayor of New York declared a state of emergency in the city due to the lack of milk formula for children - it prohibits retailers from raising prices for scarce goods. nine0007

The British edition of the Daily Mail reports that the remaining two monopolists, Walgreens and CVS, have imposed a ban on the sale of more than three units of baby food in one hand, and the popular online store - more than four. The FDA cites data that baby food manufacturers Gerber (USA) and Reckitt (UK) have increased the production of infant formula since the beginning of the year - by 50% and 30%, respectively.

How to solve this problem

However, the problem is that the manufacturers that remain on the market do not make enough formulas for children with metabolic diseases, allergies and other conditions that require a special diet. Parents are sounding the alarm: Minnesota Public Radio news portal reports that there are already cases of hospitalization of children in Tennessee, Georgia, Wisconsin and other states due to nutritional problems. nine0007

On May 23, USA Today reported that a military cargo plane arrived in Indianapolis carrying the first batch of Nestle hypoallergenic infant formula from Germany. In total, there were 35 tons of baby food on board. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in an interview with NBC News, said that this amount would be enough for 9,000 babies and 18,000 toddlers within one week.

Military aircraft loaded with infant formula. USA. Indianapolis. Photo: Michael Conroy / AP / TASS

According to The Washington Post, Abbott CEO Robert Ford apologized for the deficit and promised to set up a $5 million fund to help affected families cover medical and living expenses until until the supply crisis is resolved. nine0007

When Abbot Laboratories returns to the market

Robert Ford told The Washington Post that Abbott Nutrition has retooled its adult food lines at its Ohio plant to produce pre-packaged liquid infant formula and shipped millions of cans of its most sought-after dry formula from its Irish facility . In March, the company reported that it did not detect Cronobacter sakazakii in any sample of the mixture at the Michigan plant (signs of bacteria were detected in the non-contact area with the product) and regularly conducts tests, hoping to eliminate all violations by the summer. nine0007

On May 16, the Court for the Western District of Michigan granted a reopening of proceedings after all violations were resolved. According to the head of the company, if the plant passes the test, new mixtures will appear on store shelves in 6-8 weeks.

If Abbott does not comply, Abbott will face $30,000 in damages per day of violation.

And what about in Russia

After the closure of the plant in the USA, the company's branch in Israel, Abbott Israel, announced the withdrawal of mixtures of Similac Alimentum and Similac HMF (Human Milk Fortifier), produced at the same Michigan plant. There are also representative offices of Abbott in Russia. In particular, the Russian Veropharm factories in the Vladimir region, Belgorod and Voronezh produce Dufalac, Duspatalin, Duphaston drugs - but these are medicines, not baby food. nine0007

The main brands of Abbott baby food in Russia are Similak, Similak Premium for healthy babies, Similak Hypoallergenic for children with a high risk of allergies, Similak Low Lactose for children with lactose intolerance, Similak Antireflux, formulas for premature babies "Similak Special Care" and "Similak NeoSure", as well as a comprehensive and balanced diet "PediaSure", intended for children aged 1 to 10 years.

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