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Gerber and Other Companies are Being Sued for Lead in Their Products

Posted on April 9, 2013

Gerber Products, Del Monte Foods, Beech-Nut Nutrition and other baby-food making companies are facing a lawsuit from environmental groups for having lead in some of their products. The case will begin on Monday and the trial should determine whether or not putting warning labels on products in California should be the law.

English: Baby food section at a market (Best P...

The lead in these baby foods and liquids reach levels that should be monitored according to the Environmental Law Foundation. The suit is filed by them in Alameda County Court in Oakland.

The baby food companies do have the FDA’s backing since the administration did do testing and found that the levels were lower than the standards that usually require a warning label.

The most prominent baby foods that may contain this lead are those that have carrots, pears, sweet potatoes and peaches as ingredients. Some juice cocktails, especially grape, are also included in the list filed with the suit.

Medical officials are concerned because lead can cause damage to a developing child’s brain and this could lower their IQ. In the last few decades, we have worked hard in the United States to combat lead being in everyday products such as paint and gasoline formula. It is only natural that people would be extra worried about lead in food, of any kind, but especially food that is fed specifically to babies.500,000 children in the U.S. get lead poisoning currently, which is especially alarming when this case is taken into consideration in the heated debate over this matter.

The issue is that some experts believe that children have lead poisoning only when the high levels are present in consumables, but others believe that the amount that can cause cognitive brain damage should be considered dangerous in itself.  The companies involved in this suit have argued that the lead found in their baby food products are naturally occurring in the fruits and vegetables used to make those items. They are trying to say that the overall health benefit of eating these foods, that are lacking in American diets anyway, is bigger than the harm of the lead. The companies are using Prop. 65 to defend the lead findings due to the fact that the proposition does include exemptions for “safe-harbor” levels of poison in foods.

It will definitely be an interesting and difficult case to prosecute. We do need to pay more attention to what is in our foods. Gerber Products did not comment on the litigation.

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