Parents often go to extreme lengths to keep their babies as safe as possible. What a child eats is often very important to their overall health, and parents have become more selective in recent years when choosing the baby food they want to give their children.
Unfortunately, even parents picking organic brands could have unintentionally fed their children unsafe foods. In September of 2021, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a report showing that many well-known and long-trusted brands of baby food were potentially unsafe to feed to children.
What was the issue that led to the Congressional report?
The recent report uncovered the fact that certain baby food manufacturers failed to test the foods they produced before sending them out to the public. Both Gerber and Beech-Nut were implicated in the report for failing to test the food is produced at their facilities for inorganic arsenic.
Their testing failure then led to products with unsafe levels of inorganic arsenic going out for distribution to the public. Both the Walmart brand Parent’s Choice and Plum Organics also faced heavy criticism in the report. They failed to test for dangerous heavy metals like cadmium, lead and mercury. As with Gerber and Beech-Nut, the lack of proactive testing also meant that they failed to control the levels of heavy metals in the foods that they distribute.
Lawmakers pointed out that not only are the companies aware of the dangers from these practices, but they intentionally under-reported the levels of toxic materials in their baby foods.
What might this issue mean for modern parents?
A staggering 95% of the baby foods tested for the report had lead. Cadmium was the second most common contaminant, found in 75% of the foods. Researchers found arsenic and 73% of the foods and mercury in 32% of them. A full 25% of the foods contain all four heavy metals.
Babies ingesting unsafe levels of heavy metals may develop serious medical consequences. Heavy metals have a strong association with reduced IQ and intellectual development as children mature. Claims related to dangerous products require a considered approach, something our firm understands due to its representation of plaintiffs involved in a class-action lawsuit against Plum Baby Food.