By Yasmine Cardenas Don’t let that cute packaging and branding on baby food fool you, it may contain harmful metals. The law firm Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman is accepting lawsuit cases on behalf of parents of children with ADHD and autism who have purchased from these leading baby food manufacturers. A report titled “Baby Foods Is Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury,” by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy found that baby food contains “dangerously high levels” of these inorganic metals.
Brands at the center of this report include Happy Baby, Gerber, Beech-Nut, Earth’s Best Organic, Parent’s Choice (Walmart), Plum Organics, and Sprout Organic Foods. High levels of these metals are associated with autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
The report found that the levels for each metal were astronomically high. For drinking water, the FDA and EPA allow inorganic arsenic at 10 parts per billion (ppb), lead and cadmium at 5 ppb, and mercury at 2 ppb. Back to the astronomically high numbers I talked about, the report found that the baby food contained 177 times more than the acceptable amount of lead, 91 times more than the acceptable amount of arsenic, 69 times more than the acceptable amount of cadmium, and mercury clocked in at 5 times more than the acceptable amount.
These companies had knowledge of the fact that their products contained exorbitant amounts of toxic metals and decided to sell them anyway, according to the report.
“The level of exposure to arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury known to be safe for infants is zero,” said baby food attorney, Pedram Esfandiary. When parents buy baby food, they should not have to worry about whether that product will harm their child in any way. Still, the USDA has not set minimum standards for these heavy metals that are present in baby food. The metals are found naturally in the soil of crops that are grown, some regions contain high levels due to reliance on metal-containing pesticides and industrial pollution.
“When companies willingly expose infants to toxic metals at these shockingly high levels, they need to be brought to justice,” said Esfandiary.