A recent investigation revealed that Earth’s Best Organic baby food (manufactured by Hain Celestial Group, Inc.) contains dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. Exposure to these hazardous metals during infancy and childhood has been linked to numerous neurologic disorders such as ADHD and autism.
Our national product liability lawyers are currently accepting new cases from children (and their parents) who consumed Earth’s Best Organic baby foods and were subsequently diagnosed with autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD), or other neurologic health conditions.Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food Found to Contain High Levels of Toxic Metals
Arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium are heavy metals that are acutely toxic to the human body. Exposure to these types of metals during infancy and childhood has been shown to cause neurological problems in the developing brains of children.
The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released an investigation report in February 2021 entitled Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury (the “Congressional Report”). The Congressional Report contains the findings from an investigation into allegations that major baby foods were being sold with high levels of toxic heavy metals. The Subcommittee findings were based on laboratory testing as well as internal documents voluntarily provided by several baby food manufacturers.
The investigation results in the Congressional Report confirm that Earth’s Best Organic baby foods are contaminated with “significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.” The Congressional Report also summarized the scientific evidence establishing that exposure to these materials is harmful to infant neurological development.Heavy Metal Levels in Earth’s Best Organic Baby Foods
The Congressional Report found harmful levels of toxic metals in baby food products from 7 of the biggest manufacturers in the U.S., including Hain Celestial Group, which sells baby food products under the popular brand Earth’s Best Organic. The exact levels of these harmful metals found in the various food brands are detailed in the Congressional Report. Earth’s Best Organic had some of the highest levels of all brands, well above the maximum safe levels set by the FDA.
- Arsenic Levels in Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food
Inorganic arsenic is considered the most dangerous of all the toxin heavy metals covered by the Congressional Report. Exposure to arsenic in infancy and early childhood ihas been link not only to neurologic problems, but it can also damage the central nervous system.
According to the FDA, the maximum safe arsenic level for bottled water is 10 ppb. The Congressional Report found that Hain Celestial sold finished Earth’s Best Organic baby food products containing as much as 129 ppb, 13 times the maximum limit. Internal documents showed that Hain used ingredients that contained inorganic arsenic as high as 309 ppb.
- Lead Levels in Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food
Lead is regarded as the second most dangerous of the heavy metals that are known to post a threat to human health. Even at very small levels, lead exposure is associated with a range of adverse health conditions, specifically neurologic and cognitive developmental issues in children.
The FDA’s maximum safe level for lead in drinking water is 5 ppb and 20 ppb for juice. According to the Congressional Report, Hain used ingredients for Earth’s Best Organic containing as much as 352 ppb lead --- 70 times the FDA maximum safe limit for water.
- Mercury Levels in Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food
Mercury ranks third after arsenic and lead in terms of the most toxic of the heavy metals at issue in the Congressional Report on baby foods. Research has shown that pre-natal exposure to mercury can directly cause adverse neurologic development. High blood levels of mercury in toddlers have also been positively associated with increased rates of autism.
The acceptable safe levels for mercury are the lowest of all the metals. The FDA has established a maximum safe level of mercury for drinking water at 2 ppb. The Congressional Report does not offer any information about the levels of mercury in Earth’s Best Organic baby foods because Hain Celestial does not test for mercury in its products or ingredients.
- Cadmium Levels in Gerber Baby Food
Cadmium ranks 4th on the list of dangerous toxic metals in baby foods. Childhood exposure to Cadmium has been linked to lower IQ and the development of ADHD. The maximum safe limit for cadmium in drinking water is 5 ppb according to the FDA. The Congressional Report found that 75% of the ingredients used by Hain Celestial to make Earth’s Best Organic baby food contained cadmium in excess of 5 ppb. Some of the ingredients used by Hain Celestial contained as much as 87 ppb cadmium.
It has been known for a long time that heavy metals have toxic health effects, but a growing body of medical research is emerging that specifically connects exposure to these materials to the development of autism, ADD and other neurologic disorders. Higher rates of autism have been linked to regular exposure to heavy metals during gestation, infancy and childhood.
A 2014 study was one of the first to evaluate the impact of prenatal and early infancy exposures to mercury. The study found that mercury exposure caused a twofold increase in the risk of being diagnosed with autism or ADD. A similar study on children in Korea was published 3 years later and found a similar connection between exposure to mercury and autism/ADD rates.
Arsenic exposure was recently linked to higher autism rates in a meta-analysis study published in 2019 by a research team at the University of Buffalo. A more comprehensive study was published in 2020 which found the same positive association between exposure to mercury, arsenic, and cadmium during infancy and higher rates of autism.Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food Autism Lawsuits
The Congressional Report detailing the levels of toxic heavy metals in baby foods like Earth’s Best Organic has sparked a number of product liability lawsuits against Hain Celestial by parents claiming that their children developed autism (or other disorders). These lawsuits are partly based on the findings in the Congressional Report which clearly show that Hain Celestial knew that its baby food products contained heavy metals well above the maximum safe limits set by the FDA and decided to sell them anyway.
Since the Congressional Report was published in February 2021, Hain Celestial has been named as a defendant in a number of consumer class action and product liability lawsuits involving toxic metals in baby food products. Our firm is currently seeking toxic baby food lawsuits. Call today for a free consultation.FAQs:
Heavy metals occur naturally in the environment and make their way into soil and water which then get absorbed into crops like rice and wheat as the grow, which are incorporated into baby foods as raw ingredients.
Certain plants, particularly rice, absorb heavy metals in the soil and water more than others. As a result, rice-based baby foods tend to have higher levels of heavy metals than other types of products. Carrots and sweet potato products also tend to contain high cadmium levels.
No. Organic baby foods may actually contain higher levels of heavy metals because even though they don’t use pesticides, they are made from ingredients like brown rice which absorb these metals from the soil and water as they grow.