Baby food class actions filed after toxic metal contamination report


  • On March 9, 2021, plaintiffs in 43 lawsuits over toxic metal contamination in baby foods filed a motion asking for the cases to be consolidated in New York federal court.
  • On Feb. 11, 2021, Beech-Nut was hit with another class action lawsuit by consumers in New York who claim the company misrepresented the heavy metals in their baby food.
  • On Feb. 16, 2021, the FDA issued a response to the congressional report; however, the regulatory agency’s statement does not specifically address the companies or baby foods identified in the report.

After a congressional report revealed high levels of heavy toxic metal contamination in several brands of popular baby food, three class action lawsuits surfaced in New York, New Jersey, and California federal courts filed by consumers who say they were duped.

Since then, over 40 lawsuits have been lodged over the alleged contamination, including 38 proposed class actions, across the country. Plaintiffs filed a motion in March asking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the cases in the Eastern District of New York.

Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Plum Organics are accused of misleading consumers about the safety of the ingredients in their baby food by implying that the products undergo rigorous testing. The lawsuits cite a recent congressional report by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, that found many of the major baby food makers “contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury,” which can endanger an infant’s neurological development.

If you’ve bought baby food from a brand that is tainted with the toxic metals listed above, you may be able to join a class action lawsuit investigation. Lawyers will review your case for free.

The congressional report cited issues with the testing processes as well, reporting that the companies test the ingredients rather than the finished product.

FDA Aware of Toxic Elements in Baby Food

On Feb. 16, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration issued a response to the Congressional Report raising questions about toxic elements in popular baby foods; however, the agency’s statement did not specifically address the companies or products specified in the Congressional Report.

“Our goal is to reduce exposure to toxic elements in foods to the greatest extent feasible and to further advance progress in this area through more research and enhanced collaboration among stakeholders,” stated the agency which also noted that toxic elements are present in the environment, including in the soil and water and “cannot be completely avoided in the fruits, vegetables, or grains that are the basis for baby foods,” even through the use of organic farming practices.

The FDA noted in its statement that it has been working on the issue of toxic elements in baby foods. The agency claims it monitors baby foods through its compliance program and, should a food manufacturer be found in violation of FDA regulations, court action would be taken to stop the sale and recall affected products.

The FDA points out that the agency’s sampling of infant rice cereal for arsenic has demonstrated that manufacturers have made progress in reducing the toxic substance in baby food. Further, the agency notes that it has forced companies to stop distributing products for continued violations of FDA regulations as recently as January of this year.

Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Plum Organics Baby Food Contaminated With Toxic Metals

Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed against Gerber, take issue with the baby food giant, which makes up about 80 percent of the market, touting itself as a trusted name, despite allegedly selling contaminated baby food products. The Gerber class action lawsuit seeks to represent a nationwide Class of consumers who purchased the baby food, along with Connecticut, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas subclasses.

The Beech-Nut class action lawsuit points to the baby food’s packaging that claims the products were “100% Natural” and tested for heavy metals and other contaminants.

“Defendant asserts that its foods are ‘real food for babies,’ that its foods are tested for heavy metals, and that defendant is ‘aware of no higher standards in the industry than the ones we employ,’ in direct contradiction to the true nature of its contents, which include, but are not limited to, heavy metals and/or perchlorate,” contends the lawsuit.

The Beech-Nut plaintiffs also seek to represent a nationwide Class, along with consumers in Iowa, Illinois, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Florida.

Campbell Soup, the maker of Plum Organics baby food, has also been named in a class action lawsuit over the toxic contamination. The plaintiff claims that she and other consumers reasonably expected the Plum Organics baby food they purchased to be free of toxins with known dangerous health consequences.

On Feb. 11, 2021, Beech-Nut was served another class action lawsuit by consumers in New York taking issue with heavy metals being in their baby food. The plaintiffs say the company acted recklessly by intentionally mislabeling the products.

“Parents like Plaintiff trust manufacturers like Defendant to sell baby food that is safe, nutritious, and free from harmful toxins, contaminants, and chemicals,” the lawsuit states. “They certainly expect the food they feed their infants and toddlers to be free from Heavy Metals and Perchlorate, substances known to have significant and dangerous health consequences.”

This new Beech-Nut class action lawsuit shares the same sentiments as the trio of lawsuits already filed that condemn the company’s use of the phrase “real food for babies.”

“Defendant’s claims that the Contaminated Baby Foods were healthy, nutritious, ‘real food for babies,’ and safe baby foods as promised were untrue or misleading because such claims failed to disclose that the Contaminated Baby Foods instead had a risk of and/or actual inclusion of Heavy Metals and Perchlorate, including levels that exceed FDA and EPA guidance.”

The parents claim they would never have bought or paid so much for the products if they knew its true ingredients.

The baby food manufacturers have maintained that their products are safe, reportedly issuing statements asserting the safety and quality of their baby foods.

Have you bought Gerber, Beech-Nut, or Plum Organics baby food products? Are you concerned about the congressional report of baby foods contaminated with toxic metal? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below or click here to join a baby food class action lawsuit.

The Gerber plaintiffs are represented by Jonathan Shub and Kevin Laukaitis of Shub Law Firm LLC, Gary E. Mason, Gary M. Klinger, and Danielle Perry of Mason Lietz & Klinger LLP, and Charles E. Schaffer of Levin Sedran & Berman LLP.

The Beech-Nut plaintiffs are represented by Kevin Landau and Miles Greaves of Taus Cebulash & Landau LLP, Daniel E. Gustafson, Amanda M. Williams, Raina C. Borrelli, and Mary M. Nikolai of Gustafson Gluek PLLC, Kenneth A. Wexler, and Kara A. Elgersma of Wexler Wallace LLP, and Simon B. Paris and Patrick Howard of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky PC, Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca LLP, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P, Lite Depalma Greenberg LLC.

The representative for the Plum Organics plaintiff was not available.

The Baby Food Toxic Metal Contamination Class Action Lawsuits are Shepard et al v. Gerber Products Company, Case No. 2:21-cv-01977, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; Laurie Thomas et al v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Co., Case No. unknown, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York; and Gulkarov et al. v. Plum, Case No. 3:21-cv-00913 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; Laura Peek v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Case No. 1:21-cv-00167-TJM-ML, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Top Class Actions will continue to update this news story as it develops. Click on the “Follow Article” button at the top of this page to get the latest updates on the baby food toxic metal contamination class action lawsuits by using your free Top Class Actions account.

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    add me please

  • Diana Caudill June 1, 2021

    add me please

  • raymonda May 12, 2021

    add me

  • Jennifer Oshier May 11, 2021

    My son has had bowel problems ever since he started eating these products. He’s been in and out of the hospital. I would like to know if this is the cause of it. I’m very frustrated.

  • GG April 10, 2021

    Has anyone actually read the original study that found havy metals in baby food? It clearly states that Gerber, Beech-nut and Plum didn’t add anything to the food. Nothing was wrong with their process, machinery or production. The heavy metals came from the fruits, vegetables and grains, and cannot be avoided. It says that even if you go to Whole Foods and get organic carrots and prepare them yourself, that home made baby food has the same (sometimes higher) levels of toxic metals. The problem is in the soil and water. Its only recommendation is to mix the vegetables so you’re not feeding too much of the most problematic vegetables in a single meal.

    Please, look for the original study and read it yourself before being led into a state of panic and outrage by ignorant people, greedy lawyers or self-serving politicians.

    • spencer April 23, 2021

      you might wana do some testing yourself because if you put a magnet up to the food metal shavings will be on the magnet so come on now you are corrupt greed and dont care about the kids clearly it shows.

  • Sarah April 8, 2021

    So sad! My soon has been eating these since 2019, I have all receipts. He also just got diagnosed with autism. Contact me please

  • VICKI DERRICKSON April 8, 2021

    add me

  • Sara Barraza March 23, 2021

    Please add me, Ive had 3 grandbabies we have always fed them this baby food

  • Dorothy Anderson March 15, 2021

    Please add me

  • Karen Wong March 9, 2021

    Add me please.

  • Samantha Sant March 8, 2021

    My son was born in Jan 2020, have been feeding him Beechnut and Gerber purees and baby cereal since he was 6 months old. I am extremely disappointed and worried. Please add me.

  • Praesha Primo March 6, 2021

    My son has been eating gerber since April, 2020, I heard about gerber having toxic metals, then i saw a video and did the same magnet test. The metals did emerge from the baby cereal towards the magnet. My baby just got a blood test from his doctor so me and my husband are just waiting on the results . So sad:(

  • Angela Deemer March 2, 2021

    Add me

  • Essie Belton February 23, 2021

    Add me

  • Gayle Tabbi February 23, 2021

    Add me

  • Sharda Owens February 20, 2021

    My baby is four months and I’ve been giving him gerber wheat cereal and seen a video about it having metal shavings. So I grabbed my box and looked for myself. Took a magnet to it and there it was metal shavings coming up from the magnet. This is so sickening that I’ve been feeding this to my baby without known this.

  • Alyson Villanueva February 20, 2021

    Fed my son these foods for over a year .. when he had his first blood test at 18 months old his lead level was extremely high at a 13!!!!! 15 is considered poisoning. The health department got involved and everything. There was no sign of lead anywhere in my house nor my babysitters house. He was tested a month after the first test and it’s still high but not as high.. he’s at a 6 now. Hell be tested again when he’s 2. We were going crazy not knowing where this lead came from.. Then this comes about! Absolutely insane and terrifying!!!

  • Chantha Phang February 18, 2021

    Add me my daughter 1 years And 7 month be eat this stupid gerber brand that doctor Recommend it to me but I’m so mad 😡 if I know never buy it ….. I feel so mad and angry when I hear this ,….. box oatmeal and rice and the baby package fruit and snack ,….

  • Zara WIMES February 17, 2021

    Please add me! My son is 16 months. He was eating 4-6 jars of Beachnut, Gerber, and Earth’s Best baby food a day for about 5 months straight! And HappyBaby teethers were his favorite a while back! This infuriates me! These DEMONS need to burn in hell for targeting our innocent babies! Thank God I exclusively breast feed him! I will continue to!

  • Courtney King February 17, 2021

    I had a baby in December of 2019 and also used Gerber baby food products. The baby rice the food and all someone told me to stop which she was one by then. Not sure why I didn’t here nothing about it till later and it’s still on the market. Add me please

  • jalinda l slaton February 17, 2021

    Please add me

  • Julie Ann Woolbright February 17, 2021

    I have a 10 year old daughter. I fed her all the major brands of baby food when she was a baby. She has ADHD. Please add me. I’m thankful to learn about this before putting my baby son on solids (He’s 4 months and still nursing.)

  • Danielle N Taff February 16, 2021

    Add Please

  • Avis J Williams February 16, 2021

    Please add me.

  • Eileen February 16, 2021

    Please add

  • jayne haines February 16, 2021

    I fed all of my children gerber – would this cover the older 2 that are 21 and 17 yrs of age while their siblings are 6 and 5.
    The oldest was diagnosed with adhd and the 6 was diagnosed
    with autism.

  • Burgundy Gibson February 16, 2021

    Add me to the lawsuit. I’m a new mom and my soon to be 10 month old has been eating Gerber & Happy Baby since she was able to start solids. I wish I would’ve known this information before feeding it to my daughter.

  • Megan Yocum February 15, 2021

    Please add me

  • Robyn February 15, 2021

    Add me.

  • Virginia E Jordan February 12, 2021

    add me my son used gerber soothe formula from September 2016 till he was 1 year old in September 2017 in 2018 he was diagnosed with lead poisioning and also autism

  • Tamika M February 12, 2021

    My son ate Gerber jar food and cereal until I performed a metal taste that I saw online. Please Add Me

  • Caroline Jester February 12, 2021

    Add me

  • LaTonia Lyons February 11, 2021

    Please add me as well, my baby has been drinking the earth best organic sensitivity infant formula and the beechnut organic baby food and the happy feet tethers

  • Amber Galley February 11, 2021

    Hello I would like to be added to your lawsuit my oldest son now 3 ate Gerber from 2017- till 2019 and when he was little his doctors were concerned about high lead levels we could not figure out was was causing them or making them climb he was technically not diagnosed with lead poisoning but was being monitored closely by his doctors to see how fast it was rising or if it stopped his levels have not increased since he’s been eating what we eat. But I fear there has been irreversible damage done already. My son has extreme mood swings and dose not seem to grasp the danger of certain activities

  • Jackie Khan February 10, 2021

    Add me to this i have been feeding my daughter all these brands i have proof and i have a lot of baby food.

  • JENNY J ANDERSON February 9, 2021

    Oops tested w a magnet

  • Jenny anderson February 9, 2021

    Please. Add me all of my sons food is Gerber every type of cereal we trated w a magnet and pulled metal out we saved all the containers contaminated I am very concerned how could gerber of all brands get away w this

  • JODI L LIDDELL February 9, 2021

    Add me please. My daughter just recently started feeding my grandson Beechnut.

    • Tania Mendez February 15, 2021

      Add me!

  • Heather Leyva February 9, 2021

    Add me

    • Walter Montgomery February 9, 2021

      Add Me

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