Despite the natural-sounding names of popular baby foods and claims that many of these products are “organic,” the federal government has found that many popular baby foods include dangerous toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. The high levels of these metals in baby foods pose significant dangers to children’s physical and intellectual development. These heavy metals are also associated with serious health consequences, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
The government’s report regarding the high level of toxicity has led to some of the products being recalled. However, some companies are continuing to sell the affected products despite the dangerous levels of these toxic substances.
Parents are rightfully outraged that these companies are putting their children at risk for serious conditions simply by eating these foods. If you believe that your child may have been harmed by toxic baby food, the team at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC is here to help. Contact us today for a free and confidential assessment of your claim.
Heavy Metals Found in Baby Food
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a scathing report entitled “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury.” Following reports of high levels of toxic heavy metals in baby foods, the subcommittee requested internal documents and test results from seven of the largest baby food manufacturers in the United States. Four of the companies responded to the requests. The subcommittee identified high levels of toxic heavy metals in the following brands:
- Nurture (HappyBABY and Happy Family Organics)
- Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Earth’s Best Organic)
Three of the companies, Walmart (Parent’s Choice), Campbell (Plum Organics), and Sprout Foods (Sprout Organic Food), refused to cooperate with the investigation, according to the subcommittee. This led the oversight committee to conclude that their products have even higher levels of toxic metals. Additionally, the subcommittee found the presence of toxic heavy metals in limited independent testing.
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits a small amount of heavy metals in these foods, the subcommittee found dangerously high levels of the following toxic heavy metals in the baby food products:
- Arsenic – Arsenic poses the most significant potential threat to human health, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Known risks of arsenic exposure include negative effects on the respiratory, hepatic, hematological, renal, skin, gastrointestinal, neurological, and immune systems. Additionally, exposure to arsenic can damage the central nervous system and impair children’s cognitive development. It can cause a decreased IQ in children. Research has shown that arsenic exposure can lead to a decrease in children’s motor, gross motor, and fine motor function skills. The subcommittee’s report showed up to 91 times the permitted level of arsenic in some of the affected baby foods.
- Lead – ATSDR lists lead as the number two most dangerous heavy metals that can threaten a human’s health. Lead exposure is linked to behavioral problems, decreased cognitive performance, reduced postnatal growth, nervous system problems, and delayed puberty. It is particularly harmful to infants and young children and can cause learning difficulties, lowered IQ, and behavior difficulties. According to the report, some of the baby foods had up to 177 times the permissible lead limit.
- Cadmium – ATSDR lists cadmium as number seven on its list of environmental substances that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. This substance is linked to decreases in IQ and the development of ADHD. Some of the baby foods had 69 times the permissible cadmium limit, according to the subcommittee’s report.
- Mercury – ATSDR lists mercury as number three on its list of environmental substances that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. Mercury exposure is connected to adverse neuro-development, the onset of autism disorders, and a poorer estimated IQ. The subcommittee reported that some of the baby products had five times more mercury than the permissible limit.
Baby Food Products Involved in the Research
Various baby foods were part of the research and analysis, including:
- Infant rice cereals
- Oatmeal cereal
- Other cereals
- Jarred baby food
- Food teethers
- Snack puffs
- Oat, quinoa, wheat, lentil, and spelt flours
- Dehydrated potatoes
- Vitamin premixes
Negative Effects of Toxic Heavy Metals in Baby Food
Exposure to toxic heavy metals in baby food is linked to various significant effects, including:
- The development of ADHD and autism
- Permanent decreases in IQ
- Endangered long-term brain function
- Serious and irreversible damage to neurological development
- Decreased cognitive performance
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Memory problems
- Developmental delays
- Delayed puberty
- Reduced growth
- Increased risk of future antisocial and criminal behavior in children
- The onset of learning disabilities and behavior difficulties
- Decreased academic achievement
- Lowered test scores on standardized test performance
- Lower reading and math test scores
- Lower working memory, perceptual reasoning, and verbal comprehension scores
Do You Have Grounds for a Baby Food Heavy Metal Lawsuit?
If you fed your baby one of the affected baby foods discussed above, you might be wondering whether you have grounds for a lawsuit.
The Law Offices of Michael Gopin, PLLC is currently accepting cases that meet the following criteria:
- Age – The child must be 15 or under.
- Medical condition diagnosis – The child is diagnosed with a serious medical condition. To support an autism lawsuit, your child must have a diagnosis of autism or other conditions on the spectrum, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Kanner’s Syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Though, ADHD, neurological problems, brain damage, and other serious illnesses may qualify.
- Food – The child consumed any of the baby food products identified above in a jar, juice, cereal, snack, biscuit, etc.
You may have valuable evidence that can help support your claim (but not required), such as:
- Leftover product of the baby food in question
- Receipts or packaging of the affected baby foods
- Medical records that indicate your child or their sibling has a medical condition connected to toxic baby foods
Contact Michael J. Gopin Today for Help with Your Claim
The Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC is committed to the health of children in our area. We are ready to fight for the justice your child deserves after being harmed by the careless behavior of toxic baby food manufacturers. Contact us today to learn about your legal rights and options during a free consultation.