Metal in gerber baby food
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 or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD).
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- 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.
Heavy metals in baby food? What parents should know and do
If there is anything you can trust to be safe, it should be baby food, right?
Well… maybe not.
A report from the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform says that commercial baby foods are tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.
Which baby food companies are involved?
The report was based on information from just four companies that make baby food: Nurture, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Gerber. Arsenic, lead, and cadmium were found in baby foods from all of the companies; mercury was found in the food from the only company that tested for it (Nurture).
Of note, three other companies (Walmart, Sprout, and Campbell’s Soup) were asked to provide the same information about their baby food products, and did not.
And that is part of the problem: this is just one report, with limited information. It’s hard to know exactly what it means about commercial baby foods in general, but it’s a report that we need to take seriously, because all four of these heavy metals can affect the developing brain. And when you harm the brain as it develops, the damage can be permanent.
Do organic baby foods contain heavy metals?
It’s important to note that organic baby foods aren’t necessarily better, in no small part because many of them contain brown rice. Many rice plants naturally contain arsenic, and brown rice has more than white rice. Over the past few years we have come to understand the problem of arsenic in rice, and both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the FDA recommend limiting rice intake for babies.
What steps can parents take to be sure baby foods are safe and healthy?
The FDA is working on doing better monitoring and regulation of heavy metals in commercial baby foods. In the meantime, it’s nearly impossible to know which are completely safe and which aren’t. Babies don’t need solid foods until 6 months of age. At that time it’s perfectly fine to give them soft table foods instead of baby foods. You can also make your own baby food, using steamed or naturally soft foods and a blender. (Storage tip: you can pour a homemade puree into an ice cube tray and freeze it, and then just grab the cubes you need each time.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics has suggestions for families to help decrease their children’s exposure to heavy metals in their food and drink:
- Give your child a wide variety of different foods (the more natural colors, the better).
- Vary the grains. As mentioned above, it’s best to limit rice and rice products (check labels — rice is in a lot of foods marketed for babies, like “puffs”). Try barley, oats, and other grains. When cooking rice, it’s best to cook it in extra water and drain that water off, and to use white basmati and sushi rice, which have less arsenic.
- Check your water. Old pipes can contain lead, which can leach into drinking water.
- Avoid fruit juices. Not only can they increase the risk of cavities and obesity, but many commercial juices also contain heavy metals.
- Make healthy fish choices. Fish contains nutrients that are very healthy for the developing brain, but some fish can contain unhealthy amounts of mercury. Stay clear of big, predatory, long-living fish like swordfish, shark, or albacore tuna; it’s better to choose fish like cod, light tuna, salmon, or pollock.
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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.90,000 In baby food Gerber and Nurture Inc. found heavy metals
Experts from the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the US House of Representatives found dangerous levels of toxic metals in the baby food of several American brands. CNN writes about the progress of the investigation.
- Testing found high levels of substances such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury in baby products. These heavy toxic metals pose a serious health hazard to children.
- Products from Gerber, Nurture Inc., Hain Celestial Group and Beech-Nutrition.
- Manufacturers are accused of knowingly selling these unlabeled products to parents who are unaware of the risks they are putting their children at.
- Experts and the World Health Organization also draw attention to the fact that exposure to these metals can lead to a decrease in intelligence, inhibition of the neurological development of infants and impaired brain function.
US baby food market situation
According to the 2019 Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) report, 95% of baby food samples tested contain at least one of four substances: arsenic, mercury, cadmium or lead.
- Experts tested 168 baby food brands. 25% of them contained all four substances at once.
- The researchers specifically recommended avoiding rice-based foods, as well as carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruit juices.
- Instead, scientists recommended steaming vegetables for children, feeding them cereals, fruits for breakfast, and using a frozen banana or chilled cucumber to relieve teething pain.
, New Zealand (1), Russia (4), Finland (1), Switzerland (1) and Estonia (1), which are sold in Russia.
- Experts did not reveal any violations, but only the Belarusian product showed full compliance with all quality standards.
- Experts tested the mixtures for microbiological safety and the presence of preservatives and antibiotics.
- The results showed that the products are "free of dangerous microorganisms (including salmonella), mold and yeast, preservatives and antibiotics, lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic."
Child food poisoning cases
- On November 24, 2009, two businessmen were executed in China for producing and selling baby milk containing melamine, which is widely used to make dyes, glues and concrete. As a result of drinking poisoned milk, six children died, and more than 300 thousand fell ill with severe urolithiasis. In total, businessmen sold 1,500 tons of melanin milk.
- In January Emmanuel Besnier, CEO of Lactalis, announced that 12 million cans of salmonella-contaminated baby food would be withdrawn from sales worldwide. Products for babies were produced at a factory in the commune of Craon. At the time of the announcement of the seizure in France alone, 37 children had contracted salmonellosis. The age of the sick - from 2 weeks to 9months.
Heavy metals found in 95% of baby food
According to a recent study, popular baby food jars and cans contain toxic metals that can harm a child's full development.
The study was commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, a nonprofit organization that includes scientists and pediatricians. In total, 168 baby food items of the main and most popular American brands were selected for testing. Products from Beech-Nut, Earth's Best, Gerber, Kitchdee Organic, Healthy Times, Gerber, HappyBABY, and others have been tested.
Examination showed that 95% of the samples contained lead, 73% arsenic, 75% cadmium and 32% mercury. One fourth of the products contained all four heavy metals! Each of the five baby foods tested contained more than 10 times the legal lead level. The results of an independent study coincided, in general, with a previous examination commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May of this year, when one or more metals were found in baby food.
The analysis showed that the most toxic jars were rice, sweet potatoes and fruit juices - that is, with which babies usually start complementary foods. “Even in minimal amounts, these pollutants can negatively impact the developing brain and undermine a child’s IQ. The problem is that they accumulate with every meal,” the report says.
Rice porridge, rice dishes, rice snacks and rice crackers were the most “contaminated” because they contained “not only inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of arsenic, but other toxic metals were found in almost all samples”, states the report. Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air, with the inorganic form being the most toxic. The "organic" label on the label doesn't help, as it refers to the soil. Because rice is grown in water, it absorbs inorganic arsenic particularly well and has the highest concentration of arsenic of any food, according to the FDA. Most inorganic arsenic is found in brown and wild rice, less in refined white rice. However, studies have shown that even low levels of arsenic exposure can affect a child's neurodevelopment: a 50% increase in urinary arsenic is responsible for a 0. 4 point decrease in a toddler's IQ between the ages of 5 and 15. The lowest content of arsenic is in Gerber rice cereals.
Baby biscuits (so-called “teething biscuits”), sweet potato jars and carrots also contain arsenic, lead and cadmium, according to research (“cleanest” Beech-Nut carrots and Gerber sweet potatoes, more total arsenic in HappyBABY sweet potatoes). Toxic metals were also found in the most popular children's juices - apple, pear, grape ("Apple & Eve" juices turned out to be cleaner than the rest). Traces of arsenic and lead have also been found in jars of Deluxe Pasta macaroni and cheese, popular with American children, and Cheerios breakfast rings.
“The harmful effects of lead on the human body have been proven, and over the past 40 years we have been trying to limit its content in toys, paints and food. But completely getting rid of it is still unrealistic, the report says (our newspaper wrote in September this year that lead was found in paint and in drinking fountains in New York schools). “Even very low levels of lead cause academic decline, attention deficits, and behavioral problems. Recently, 80,000 schoolchildren from Detroit and Chicago were examined, and it was children whose bodies had high levels of lead that received negative results on academic testing. In October 2018, the FDA halved the maximum daily limit for lead in baby foods, but our study shows that this is not enough. According to the expert, more than 2.2 million children under the age of six are “infected” with high levels of lead.”
Experts' conclusion is disappointing: “Despite the FDA's goal of reducing heavy metal exposure, 148 of 168 infant formulas tested were significantly elevated. And none of the existing baby food manufacturers take into account the neurological effects of exposure to these metals on children.”
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