Baby food manufacturer Nurture Inc. filed a motion to dismiss claims that its baby food contains high levels of toxic heavy metals. Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuits filed against Nurture allege the company has sold baby food contaminated with hazardous heavy metals. Lawsuits argue these undisclosed contaminants can result in neurological delays and disorders in children. On November 21, 2022, Nurture submitted a motion to the federal judge, stating plaintiffs failed to establish any plausible claim against the company.
Bombshell Congressional Report on Toxic Metals in Baby Food
In February 2021, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a new report that dove into dangerous levels of toxic metals in baby foods. The report exposed that baby food manufactured by companies such as Nurture, Inc., Beech-Nut Nutrition Company., Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Campbell, Walmart, Sprout Foods, Inc., and Gerber contained unsafe levels of toxic heavy metals. FDA-funded testing discovered unacceptable levels of inorganic arsenic in baby food products, far exceeding regulatory standards of 100 ppb for infant rice cereal. For example, Plum’s Super Puff rice-based products averaged 233.74 ppb arsenic. Additional contaminants identified in baby foods include lead, mercury, and cadmium.
The report blamed flawed testing practices prevalent in the baby food industry for the unacceptable amounts of contaminants. Inaccurate testing methodology led companies to underestimate the toxic heavy metals content. In fact, the Subcommittee pointed out that most manufacturers do not test their finished product at all, only testing individual ingredients. Even upon discovering such high levels of toxic heavy metals, several manufacturers, like Gerber, continued to sell products to the public.
Toxic Heavy Metals Baby Food Lawsuits Ensue After Subcommittee Findings
Individuals began filing lawsuits after the release of the shocking congressional report detailing harmful levels of toxins in baby food. Arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium can significantly impact the neurological development of babies at the levels identified in popular baby food brands. Furthermore, all four neurotoxins made the World Health Organization’s list of 10 Chemicals of Public Health Concern. Plaintiffs allege that toxic heavy metals in baby food cause their children to develop:
- Antisocial behavior
- Permanent brain damage
While there is currently no toxic heavy metals baby food multidistrict litigation, individuals have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts.
Nurture Files to Dismiss Heavy Metals Baby Food Claims
Nurture Inc. sells Happy Family Organics under the brand name HappyBABY online and in major retailers nationwide. Costco, Amazon, and Target carry various puffs, purees, teething crackers, and cereals produced by Nurture. Although the company markets its baby food products as bringing “health and happiness to little ones,” plaintiffs argue the company mislabeled its products and violated consumer protection laws.
In a memorandum filed in New York federal court on November 21, 2022, Nurture moved to dismiss claims that it misled consumers by selling baby food products with toxic heavy metals. The company claimed the contaminants cited in lawsuits are naturally occurring heavy metals. Therefore, it cannot entirely remove these materials from its organic baby food products. Furthermore, Nurture described plaintiffs’ claims as “dramatic,” with the lawsuits lacking evidence that its products have injured any babies.