A recent report issued by the government reported toxic heavy metals found in several popular baby food brands. A few of the many toxic heavy metals found include arsenic, mercury, and cadmium, all of which can result in negative impacts on the neurodevelopment of growing children. In fact, all of these heavy metals have been linked to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism, and attention deficit disorder in kids.
Baby Food Linked To Toxicity From Heavy Metals
A recent congressional report titled, “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury”, issued by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives released on February 4, 2021, alleges that several heavy metals were found in some of the most popular commercial baby foods on the market today. According to the report, children who are exposed to toxic heavy metals can experience “permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior.” This is due to the fact that a baby’s brain is much more sensitive to the toxicity in heavy metals and more vulnerable to their effects. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, inorganic arsenic, and lead can “lead to illness, impairment, and in high doses, death” in young children.
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Heavy Metals Found In Baby Food
The following are the toxic heavy metals that have been found in some of the most popular brands of baby food on the market as well as their potential side effects:
This toxic heavy metal is ranked as the most harmful metal that poses a significant threat to the health of humans. Known health risks of being exposed to arsenic include haematological, respiratory, hepatic, skin, renal, gastrointestinal, immunological, and neurological effects. Additionally, inorganic arsenic has been shown to have negative effects on the cognitive development and central nervous system in children. A study performed on school children in Maine found that children who were exposed to arsenic in drinking water showed significant decreases in Full Scale IQ, working memory, verbal comprehension, and perceptual reasoning scores.
Lead is another incredibly dangerous toxic heavy metal that can be harmful and cause permanent damage in children and adults. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has listed lead as the number two substance that poses the highest threat to human health. Even lead exposure in small doses can pose a serious risk to children and has been linked to behavioral problems, delayed puberty, lowered cognitive performance, and reduced growth after birth. According to the FDA, lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and infants and can significant impact their development in the brain and nervous system. The FDA stated that “Neurological effects from high levels of lead exposure during early childhood include learning disabilities, behavior difficulties, and lowered IQ.”
Studies have also shown that lead exposure negatively impacts a child’s school performance. In fact, a study in Detroit found that there was a “significant association between early childhood lead exposure and decreased standardized test performance.” Studies have also shown a link between lead exposure and ADHD.
Unfortunately, when lead exposure impacts a child’s cognitive abilities, the effects are permanent.
Cadmium is ranked number seven on the toxic substances list created by the ATSDR and poses a significant threat to human health. This toxic heavy metal has been associated with a decrease in IQ and the potential development of ADHD. Studies have shown links between cadmium and both lower scores on the Full Scale IQ and ADHD diagnoses among children.
Mercury is listed as number three on the list of substances that pose significant threat to human health as devised by the ATSDR. Studies on this toxic heavy metal’s impact on childhood development have found adverse neurodevelopment, lower IQ, and autistic behaviors among children who had high blood mercury levels at ages two and three.
Baby Foods That Were Found To Contain Toxic Levels Of Heavy Metals
Several popular baby foods and baby food brands have been found to have toxic levels of heavy metals in their products. These baby foods were tested by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform and have been confirmed to contain high levels of heavy metals in their products. The following is a list of the baby foods and baby food manufacturers as well as the toxic heavy metals found in each:
Nurture, Inc (HappyBABY, Happy Family Organics)
This company sold finished baby food products that tested positive or high levels of inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. According to documents provided by the company, Nurture sells baby food products even when testing confirms that there are high levels of toxic heavy metals. Examples of products from this company that contain heavy metals include Apple & Broccoli Puffs, Apple Rice Cakes, Banana & Pumpkin Puffs, and Kale & Spinach Puffs.
Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Earth’s Best Organic)
Hain, which produces the baby food brand Earth’s Best Organic, also tested positive for several heavy metals including inorganic arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Examples of products from this company that contain heavy metals include Organic Barley Flour, Organic Oat Flakes, Organic Cinnamon Powder, Organic Date Paste, and Organic Red Lentils. Results have shown that Hain used ingredients that contained up to 260 ppb in cadmium, 200 ppb of lead, and up to 309 ppb of arsenic.
Beech-Nut Nutrition Company
This company has also shown to have elevated levels of heavy metals in its baby food, including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. The company’s products tested positive for up to 913.4 ppb of arsenic, more than 20 ppb of lead, and 344.5 ppb of cadmium. The company did not even test its products for mercury. And, the company has been found to have sold 11 products that were higher in cadmium than the internal limits the company set for itself.
Gerber, a well-known and highly popular baby food brand, is also guilty of creating and selling baby food products that have high levels of toxic heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. It was found that the company sold products that had more than 90 ppb of inorganic arsenic, 48 ppb of lead, and 87 ppb of cadmium. The company does not test its products for mercury. Examples of products the company has sold that have high levels of heavy metals include Flour Rice Long Grain and Grape Juice White.
Beech-Nut, Nurture, Gerber, and Hain agreed to participate in the Subcommittee’s investigation. However, other companies that have been found to have heavy metals in their products but did not agree to participate in the investigation include Walmart (Parent’s Choice), Sprout Organic Food, and Campbell Soup (Plum Organics). According to the report submitted by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform, the lack of participation from these companies is highly concerning and may be hiding even higher levels of toxic heavy metals than their competitor’s baby food products.
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Conditions Linked To Heavy Metal Exposure In Children
There are several health conditions that have been directly linked to the exposure of heavy metals in children. These conditions include:
Arsenic and mercury have been found to have a direct impact on a child’s susceptibility to developing autism. Additionally, cadmium and lead have also shown potential links to autism.
Studies have shown a direct correlation between exposure to inorganic arsenic and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, several studies have shown a link between lead and mercury. Other studies illustrated that heavy metals like cadmium increased children’s susceptibility to developing ADHD.
Will There Be A Recall On The Tainted Baby Food?
Unfortunately, none of the companies who were tested and cited in the report distributed by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform have made any recalls on their baby food. However, the Subcommittee’s report did suggest the following to increase the safety of baby foods:
- A phase-out of products containing toxic ingredients
- Food labels that clearly show reported levels of toxic metals in a product
- Mandatory testing by the FDA
- Maximum heavy metals standards set by the FDA
In the meantime, it’s important for parents to do their due diligence when researching and purchasing baby food so they can make informed decisions about the products they use to feed their children.
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Contact Florin|Roebig Regarding Your Baby Food Lawsuit
If you purchased products from any of these baby food companies and your child developed ADHD or autism, our law firm is ready and willing to help you pursue a lawsuit on your behalf. We will proudly represent your family and work hard to ensure you get the settlement you need and deserve for the hardships you and your loved ones have suffered on behalf of these companies’ wrongdoing and negligence. Give us a call today at (800) 226-6581 for a 100% confidential and free consultation.