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Beech-Nut Baby Foods Contain Significant Levels of Heavy Metals Class Action

Beech-Nut made and sold baby food that was supposed to be “organic” and “natural.” But the complaint for this class action alleges that its baby food actually contains heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead. The complaint asserts that these substances “can endanger infant neurological development.”

The class for this action is all persons in the US who, between January 1, 2017 and the present, bought Beech-Nut baby foods for household or personal use.

The plaintiff in this case, Mattia Doyle, bought Beech-Nut Naturals and Beech-Nut Organics to feed her one-year-old and three-year-old. She relied on the “organic” and “natural” indications on the packaging as well as the “stages” representation and the phrase, “real food for babies.”

The complaint refers to two sources to support its allegations.

First, it mentions Healthy Babies Bright Futures, an alliance of nonprofit organizations. In April 2019, the group had a laboratory test 168 containers of baby food to look for substances like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Eighteen Beech-Nut baby foods were part of this testing, and the lab reported that they contained those heavy metals.

The group explained in its report that those substances are neurotoxins that “can harm a baby’s developing brain and nervous system” and have other negative effects, including “the permanent loss of intellectual capacity and behavioral problems like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”

The other source the complaint relies on is a report from a US House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the House Oversight Committee. It found that Beech-Nut baby food (among other brands) “contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development.”

The Subcommittee asked major baby food makers to submit internal documents, including testing policies and test results, including what the companies did with ingredients or finished products that found substances that exceeded the company’s internal limits. Beech-Nut complied, submitting testing policies, test results for 57 ingredients, and its documentation of what it did with ingredients that exceeded its internal limits.

The complaint asserts, “The Subcommittee concluded that [Beech-Nut] used ingredients in its baby food that contained arsenic, lead, and cadmium. The report also stated that ‘Beech-Nut … do[es] not even test for mercury in baby food[,]’ thought the Subcommittee found that mercury was detected in the baby food made by the only responding company that tested for it.’”

The complaint reviews acceptable levels of these substances in food according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other standards. For example, on arsenic, it says, “The FDA has also set the action level for inorganic arsenic in rice cereals for infants to 100 ppb. [Beech-Nut] uses ingredients that exceed these amounts.” Also, the complaint says, “Beech-Nut set an internal specification limit of 3,000 parts per billion inorganic arsenic for certain ingredients and, as a result, used ingredients ‘with as much as 913.4 ppb arsenic’ and ‘routinely used ingredients that exceeded 300 ppb total arsenic[.]’”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Beech-Nut Baby Foods Contain Significant Levels of Heavy Metals Complaint

February 18, 2021

Beech-Nut made and sold baby food that was supposed to be “organic” and “natural.” But the complaint for this class action alleges that its baby food actually contains heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead. The complaint asserts that these substances “can endanger infant neurological development.”

Beech-Nut Baby Foods Contain Significant Levels of Heavy Metals Complaint

Case Event History

Beech-Nut Baby Foods Contain Significant Levels of Heavy Metals Complaint

February 18, 2021

Beech-Nut made and sold baby food that was supposed to be “organic” and “natural.” But the complaint for this class action alleges that its baby food actually contains heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead. The complaint asserts that these substances “can endanger infant neurological development.”

Beech-Nut Baby Foods Contain Significant Levels of Heavy Metals Complaint
Tags: Contaminated with Harmful Substances, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Food Contamination, Heavy Metals