What Do I Need to Know About the Lawsuit Against Baby Food - morgan and morgan
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What Do I Need to Know About the Lawsuit Against Baby Food?

What Do I Need to Know About the Lawsuit Against Baby Food?

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What Do I Need to Know About the Lawsuit Against Baby Food?

Recent research shines a light on the high levels of toxic heavy metals in common conventional and organic baby foods. Consuming heavy metals such as lead and mercury in high concentrations can have devastating effects on developing children’s brains and overall health, potentially causing autism, lower IQ, and other problems. Parents whose children have developed autism now seek justice by filing lawsuits against baby food manufacturers.

Every parent wants to provide their child with the best possible start in life. Discovering that the baby food products you fed your precious child were tainted with heavy metals and could have caused autism or other adverse health effects can feel shocking and deeply upsetting. Morgan & Morgan is on your side. We think it is appalling that innocent children are knowingly exposed to toxic heavy metals that could negatively impact the rest of their lives. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys are ready to stand up for your child’s rights. Contact us now for a free case review.

Baby Food Tainted With Toxic Heavy Metals

According to a U.S. House of Representatives report dated February 2021, several common baby foods are tainted with high levels of heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. Brands affected include organic and conventional baby foods, such as:

  • Nurture’s HappyBABY brand
  • Beech-Nut Nutrition 
  • Sprout Organic Foods
  • Walmart’s baby food brand Parent’s Choice
  • Hain Celestial Group’s brand Earth’s Best Organic
  • Gerber
  • Campbell Soup Company’s baby food brand Plum Organics

The report found the heavy metals arsenic, lead, cadmium in all baby food products. Mercury was present in the only product that tested for it (Nurture’s HappyBABY). The results revealed concentrations of heavy metals several times higher than those allowed by current regulations for similar products. The levels found in baby foods exceed the amounts of maximum allowable heavy metal concentration set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water by several times:

  • Arsenic: up to 91 times 
  • Lead: up to 177 times 
  • Cadmium: up to 69 times 
  • Mercury: up to 5 times

Some Companies Refused to Cooperate 

Only four corporations cooperated with the investigation leading to the report, namely Nurture, Gerber, Hain, and Beech-Nut. Walmart, Sprout Organic Foods, and Campbell rejected all cooperation with the investigation. There is some concern that this refusal could be a deliberate attempt to hide the presence of even higher concentrations of heavy metals in these companies’ products.  

The Effects of Harmful Heavy Metals on Children

Exposure to a high concentration of toxic metals can be severely harmful to children and adults alike. However, even small amounts of heavy metals can cause damage to a child’s developing brain. Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxins due to their smaller size and their organs and brains still developing. Heavy metal exposure has been linked to learning difficulties, cognitive problems, and behavioral issues. Some of the harmful effects of heavy metals include, among others:

Lower IQ 

A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that exposure to foods with high concentrations of toxic heavy metals can have devastating consequences for individuals, extending into their adulthood. Greater childhood lead exposure, in particular, was associated with declines in IQ, lower cognitive function, and lower socioeconomic status in adulthood. 

Behavioral Problems

Adverse effects of toxic heavy metals such as lead can also include behavioral problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impaired attention, autism, reduced executive function, and other health effects. Children exposed to high concentrations of toxic metals may also be predisposed to antisocial and criminal behavior.

Physical Health Problems

Toxic heavy metals may not only cause long-term cognitive and behavioral problems in children but could also cause the following health problems:

  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Vascular damage
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Skin lesions
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Cancer

Being exposed to several toxic metals at once may have cumulative damaging effects on a child’s health. 

Potential Side Effects of Specific Heavy Metals 

Each heavy metal found in baby foods can cause specific side effects and conditions. 

Arsenic

Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause bladder, skin, and lung cancer. The substance is also linked to nervous system damage, lower IQs, and other cognitive deficits. 

Lead 

Exposure to lead can cause, among other harmful effects:

  • Brain damage
  • Attention deficits
  • Behavioral problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Anemia
  • Weakness

Cadmium

Excessive consumption of cadmium can lead to learning disabilities, bone disease, kidney damage, and heart problems. Cadmium is also carcinogenic and can contribute to developing cancer.  

Mercury

Mercury exposure can damage the nervous system, liver, kidneys, and immune system. Further, mercury can contribute to developing cardiovascular disease, vision problems, and memory impairment. 

Baby Food Linked to Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to various developmental disorder conditions affecting how a person perceives their environment. Individuals with ASD can have varying speech, learning, and social skills challenges. Some persons with ASD need significant support with managing their daily lives, while others can live independently. Although the exact cause of ASD is currently unknown, most scientists believe that there could be several factors causing the disorder. 

Some of the risk factors assumed to contribute to ASD include:

  • Exposure to heavy metals and toxins
  • Low birth weight
  • Having an autistic immediate family member 
  • Certain genetic mutations and disorders

The Link Between Heavy Metals and Autism

While the precise cause of autism is still debated, researchers have found evidence that exposure to toxic heavy metals can play a role in developing autism. Studies show that early exposure to heavy metals and other industrial chemicals can affect brain development negatively. According to a research paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), harmful neurotoxicants can include mercury, lead, arsenic, and other substances. Exposing babies and toddlers to heavy metals found in many baby foods can potentially cause autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments.  

Lawsuits Against Baby Food Manufacturers

Allegations made in baby food lawsuits concentrate on the presence of potentially unsafe and damaging levels of heavy metals, in particular, arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. In March 2021, several plaintiffs whose children consumed the foods in question and were diagnosed with autism filed a legal complaint. Named defendants in the complaint include Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Inc., Gerber Products Company, Inc., and Nurture, Inc. 

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants knew about their products being tainted with high concentrations of heavy metals and concealed this from consumers. They also put forward that the named companies failed to warn consumers about the toxic heavy metals and potential health risks. In legal terms, the lawsuits allege:

  • Negligence of manufacturers
  • Failure to warn
  • Breach of implied warranty of merchantability

If you are concerned about your child being impacted by unsafe baby food, consider seeking your doctor’s advice. Consulting with our experienced lawyers can help you determine your legal options. 

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What Can I Do Now to Limit My Child’s Exposure to Toxic Heavy Metals?

    If heavy metal exposure in baby food has already harmed your child or you want to limit your child’s exposure to toxins, here are some tips that can help reduce exposure to heavy metals: 

    Limit Intake of High-Risk Foods

    Foods containing high levels of heavy metals include rice and rice products, sweet potatoes, and fruit juices (in particular apple and grape). Fruit juices have shown high levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in numerous products. Formula or breast milk should be the only beverage for babies, while water remains the best choice for older children. 

    Make Your Own Baby Food

    While not as convenient as buying baby food, making your own can have advantages. Freshly pureed vegetables and fruit are healthier than processed varieties. Although some foods naturally contain heavy metals, the concentrations in homemade food are generally lower as it is free of additives that contain heavy metals. Consulting your pediatrician about your child’s nutritional needs can help with making the right choices to provide your child with a balanced and nutritious diet. 

    Minimize Processed Snacks

    Baby food snacks such as crackers, puffs, and teething biscuits can contain a higher concentration of heavy metals. Healthier options for snacks include plain yogurt, pureed fruit and vegetables, oatmeal, and cut-up whole fruit. Consider using teething rings and toys instead of teething biscuits.

  • Which Baby Food Products Are Implicated?

    While information is still collected on which specific products are implicated, the following baby foods may have higher levels of heavy metals:

    • Teething biscuits
    • Purees
    • Juices
    • Rice cereals
    • Rice puff products
       
  • Do I Have a Baby Food Case?

    Until very recently, most parents were not aware of neurotoxins in baby food products. Therefore, if you fed your child any of the baby foods mentioned above, and the child later developed autism or other adverse health effects, you could file a lawsuit against baby food manufacturers. Your best next step can be talking to our attorneys about your situation and finding out about potential legal remedies. 

  • How Much Does It Cost to File a Lawsuit or Join a Class Action?

    Those joining a class action lawsuit do not have to pay anything upfront. The defendant may be ordered to pay attorney’s fees and court expenses. Alternatively, fees and costs for bringing the class-action lawsuit will come out of the final settlement.

    If your damages exceed those of other plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit, you may wish to opt-out of the class action and file an individual personal injury case. Some attorneys charge hourly fees for their services when working on your personal injury case. At Morgan & Morgan, we believe you deserve justice regardless of your financial situation. We do not charge our clients any upfront attorney’s fees. We get paid only when and if you get paid.

  • Why Should I Choose Morgan & Morgan to Represent Me?

    As the largest personal injury firm in the country, we have more than 800 experienced and highly motivated attorneys fighting for the rights of the injured. Unlike other law firms, we never settle for the best last offer but fight hard for the maximum possible recovery for our clients. We can draw on the expertise of countless investigators, physicians, and legal team members ready to investigate cases and hold companies accountable for the harm they have done. 

    Morgan & Morgan never shies away from taking on large corporations and fighting them at a trial, if necessary. Over the last three decades, we recovered more than $13 billion in damages for clients. However, what sets us apart from other law firms is not only our willingness to fight tooth and nail for our clients but that we genuinely care. Our clients become part of our family. 

    We want to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you need when your child suffers an injury due to corporate greed or negligence. If we take your case, we will not charge you a dime unless and until we resolve the case in your favor.

  • Morgan & Morgan Stands Up for Your Child’s Rights 

    Parents have the right to expect baby food to be healthy and safe. Children should not have their future compromised by companies putting profits over their health and well-being. Companies producing and selling baby food, knowing that it contains unacceptably high levels of harmful toxic metals, have no excuses. Morgan & Morgan is ready to hold such unscrupulous corporations to account.

    Unfortunately, compensation cannot make your child healthy again or turn back the time. However, receiving a payout can help with the financial burden and expenses arising from your child’s medical and care needs. In addition, holding a negligent manufacturer to account can ultimately make products safer and prevent other companies from making the same mistakes. 

    Morgan & Morgan is here to help you fight back. Get started today and find out about your legal options in a free consultation.

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