Gerber Class Action Lawsuit- When Baby Food Becomes Poison

by | Sep 17, 2022 | Baby Products, Product Liability | 0 comments

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Watching your baby eat is the best thing in the world. You make sure that everything your ill munchkin eats is healthy. What if you get to know it is not just unhealthy but dangerous? I am sure it will leave you on pins and needles.

Let’s get to know the story of umpteen parents who are frazzled knowing that the baby food they trusted was toxic to their tiny tots. Gerber class action lawsuits are all about unlucky parents filing a lawsuit against Gerber, the top baby food manufacturer, for toxicity in their products. Let this blog be an eye-opener to all of us.

In February 2021, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy published a report revealing the shocking truth behind Gerber. The report indicated the presence of hazardous heavy metals like inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in the favorite baby food brand of the U.S.

Thorough research into the safety of various baby food brands marketed and sold in the United States led to surprising conclusions in the Subcommittee Report.

Is Gerber the only baby food brand under the dark shadow of a baby food toxic metal class action lawsuit? No, the below-mentioned are some other brands facing litigation.

  1. Beech-Nut
  2. Plum Organics (Campbell Soup Company)
  3. Sprout Foods
  4. Earth’s Best Organic (Hain Celestial Group)
  5. HappyBABY (Nurture)
  6. Parent’s Choice (Walmart)

Let’s now find out more about Gerber and its products.

Gerber Baby Foods

Gerber was founded in 1927 by Daniel Frank Gerber, owner of the Fremont Canning Company, which produced canned fruit and vegetables. Going through a series of ups and downs, in 1994, Gerber merged with Sandoz Laboratories. After two years, Sandoz merged with CIBA-Geigy to form Novartis. In 2007, Gerber was acquired by Nestle for $5.5 billion.

Gerber fills the U.S. baby food market with its wide range of products that make both mommies and babies happy. Some of the top products of Gerber are listed below for your reference.

  • Baby Formula
  • Vitamins and Supplements
  • Baby Snacks and Purees
  • Cereals
  • Beverages and Fruit Juices

Going through a short glance at the infancy of Gerber baby foods, let’s now come to the heart of the matter, Gerber baby food lawsuits, and their background.

Heavy Metals and Babies- What’s the Consequence?

Heavy metals are metallic chemical elements with relatively high density and are toxic even at low concentrations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) report that heavy metals are neurotoxins and cause hazardous effects on human health, especially in children.

Babies are more in danger from exposure to heavy metals than adults because they have developing organ systems that absorb more of the heavy metals.

Toxic heavy metal exposure can cause the following neurological issues in children.

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Permanent decline of I.Q.
  • Irreparable brain damage
  • Problems in neurological development
  • Issues in long-term brain function
  • Behavior disruption
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Death

Apart from the effects mentioned above, toxic metals can also affect children’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic, renal, skin, and immunological systems. They can also lead to issues like delayed puberty and reduced postnatal growth.

A study published in 2014 reported that mercury causes a twofold increase in the risk of developing autism or ADD. Similar studies have been conducted worldwide, indicating the correlation between heavy metal exposure and autism.

Heavy Metals in Gerber Baby Foods

Does Gerber baby food have lead in it?

The House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy reports that Gerber baby food products contain 48 ppb lead, 90 ppb of inorganic arsenic, and up to 87 ppb cadmium. The report also reveals that Gerber rarely tests their products for mercury.

Let us now compare these levels with the standards the FDA and the EPA set.

As per the FDA and the EPA, safe arsenic levels for bottled water are 10 ppb, lead level in drinking water is 5 ppb, cadmium level in drinking water is 5ppb, and mercury level in drinking water is 2 ppb.

Gerber can relax that the heavy metal levels in their products are far lower than the other well-known brands. Still, it is very evident that the heavy metal toxicity in Gerber baby foods exceeds what is now permitted by the regulatory agencies in the United States. Are you able to spot the danger?

Gerber Class Action Lawsuits

What is a Gerber lawsuit?

With umpteen research work reports and studies, Gerber baby products were found to be tainted with toxic heavy metals that lead to autism and ADHD in babies. The news led to several toxic baby food class action lawsuits against Gerber. The plaintiffs in the Gerber class action lawsuits are the parents who claim that their children developed autism or other disorders due to the consumption of Gerber baby food products.

A number of class action and product liability lawsuits alleging hazardous metals in infant food products have listed Gerber as a defendant. The lawsuits claim that Gerber had falsified and intentionally avoided disclosing the presence of dangerous levels of heavy metals in their baby foods.

Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald granted permission to transfer a class action lawsuit against Gerber Baby Food from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division Los Angeles, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

A separate class action lawsuit was also filed, suing Walmart for not disclosing that its Parent’s Choice brand baby food contained high levels of toxic heavy metals.

All the plaintiffs in the Gerber baby food class action lawsuit have one voice in common. They would not have bought the product if Gerber had warned them about the risks of toxic heavy metals on its food labels.

They claim that their decision to choose Gerber baby food products for their children was based on Gerber’s claim that their products are organic and safe for babies. The plaintiffs sued the company for not warning them about the presence of heavy metals that can lead to autism, ADHD, and other neurological impairments.

Which Gerber foods are in the baby food lawsuit 2022?

As per the two government reports and testing from consumer advocacy organizations, the following Gerber baby food products are included in the Gerber class action lawsuit.

  • Arrowroot Biscuits
  • Barley Single Grain Cereal
  • Multigrain Cereal
  • Oatmeal Single Grain Cereal
  • Organic Rice Cereal
  • Organic Sweet Potatoes
  • Probiotic Rice Banana Apple Cereal
  • Rice Single Grain Cereal
  • Conventional Carrots
  • Conventional Sweet Potatoes
  • Diced Carrots Veggie Pickups
  • Flour Rice Long Grain
  • Sweet Potato Sitter 2nd Foods
  • Sweet Potato Supported Sitter 1st Foods Tub
  • Whole Wheat Whole Grain Cereal
  • Carrot Sitter 2nd Food
  • Carrot Supported Sitter 1st Goods
  • Fruit & Veggie Melts Truly Tropical Blend Free
  • Grape Juice White

Do you qualify for a lawsuit against Gerber?

If your child developed autism or ADHD after consuming Gerber baby food, you might be eligible to join a Gerber class action lawsuit 2022. Consult an expert baby food attorney and get your case evaluation done. Plaintiffs in a Gerber class action lawsuit can cover the following damages on behalf of their children.

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earnings of the parents
  • Lost wages of the parents
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehab therapy expenses
  • Future care

There are also possibilities of punitive damages in Gerber baby food lawsuits. The compensation amount will depend on the extent of damages sustained by the victim, which could be autism or other neurological disorders.

Defending Arguments in Class Action Lawsuit Against Gerber Baby Food

In response to the class action lawsuit, Gerber defends that, given the need for knowledge in matters pertaining to child nutrition, Gerber contends that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in a better position to decide the appropriate levels of heavy metals in baby foods.

Gerber defends the plaintiff’s argument about disclosing heavy metals in the packaging. The company adds that the FDA has the authority to establish demand for mandatory disclosures on the packaging, and it is the Agency’s role to establish a national policy on food safety and labeling.

Gerber also exploits the inability of the plaintiffs to prove that Gerber had done deceptive marketing with misleading statements. They also defend that there is no legal requirement to disclose heavy metals on a product’s label.

Gerber says they fully stand behind the safety of all their products involving the ones under litigation. They state that babies are their highest priority and have quality, safety, and good standards worldwide.

The company claims to take multiple steps, including prioritizing growing locations based on soil testing, rotating crops according to the best available science, and testing produce, water, and other ingredients.

Was there a recall on Gerber baby food?

In September 2021, a government study on baby food reported that Gerber should recall two infant rice cereal product codes and consider stopping its rice cereal sales.

Does Gerber have a recall? No, while other companies have recalled many products when heavy metal levels in their baby foods tested above harmful levels, Gerber has made no such efforts to protect consumers.

In their products, including newborn rice cereal, Gerber has made several improvements that have reduced the quantities of hazardous heavy metals. However, they are not claiming zero heavy metal levels in their baby products, which is a significant reason for the parents to avoid the brand.

As of now, it’s hard to predict the fate of Gerber class action lawsuits. We have to wait and watch the progress of the lawsuits to know further. Stick on with us, and we will update you with the latest information on this toxic baby food lawsuit.

What is the flip side of heavy metal contamination in baby food?

We have been discussing the heavy metal contamination in baby food products of Gerber. Did you know that there is another extreme in the story? High levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium can routinely be found in rice, sweet potatoes, carrots, juices, and spices.

Wondering how? Heavy metals enter the entire food supply, not only baby food. Research studies indicate that crops absorb heavy metals from the soil contaminated with coal emissions, chemicals, and pesticides.

How much should the acceptable levels of heavy metals be in baby food? The answer to this query should soon be found. However, it’s certain that the current FDA standards are not strong enough to protect our babies from toxic heavy metals.

Gerber is a founding member of the Baby Food Council that works with the government and NGOs to reduce heavy metal contamination in baby foods, utilizing high-quality practices. Is the fence eating the crop? Let 2022 answer us with the upcoming legal proceedings in Gerber baby food lawsuits.

 

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