Product News and Recalls

Lawsuits Still Hammering Baby Food Companies in Response to Congressional Report

baby food companies hammered by lawsuits after House report on baby food safetyThe House subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy may have released its scathing report on the state of baby food safety in the United States months ago, but the fallout has yet to show any sign of slowing.

The report issued in early 2021 concluded that “commercial baby foods contain dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium…[that] pose serious health risks to babies and toddlers.” The conclusion was drawn as a result of testing a wide variety of samples from the nation’s leading baby food manufacturers. Curiously, of the seven manufacturers ordered to provide samples of their product for the study, only four would actually comply with the House’s request.

As expected, lawsuits were immediately filed across the country as families that had previously trusted the food they were feeding their children learned that it may have actually been causing harm.

As we reach the final months of 2021, the deluge of lawsuits has not waned, and, in fact, even more products have been pulled from store shelves. Walmart has recalled multiple lots of eight-ounce packages of Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal after testing found arsenic in the food. In a separate matter, Gerber has come under fire for allegedly selling baby food products contaminated with lead. According to data filed in conjunction with the lawsuit, the plaintiff asserts that a single serving of various Gerber baby food products will expose a six, seven, or eight-month-old baby to three times the amount of lead permissible for an adult to consume in a single day.

To date, well over 80 lawsuits have been filed in response to the House report and ongoing discoveries of baby food contamination. And, while many would assume that such a large number of cases would likely precipitate a multidistrict litigation, neither side seems to want such a move to take place and, in fact, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied the transfer of a number of cases to a consolidated MDL this past summer.

The result will be a long line of lawsuits and, as more information becomes available and the veil is pulled back on the industrial preparation of baby food, further erosion still in the nation’s faith in the safety of its baby food manufacturers.