These two Happy Tot baby foods were found to contain high levels of lead.
— Attorney Vineet Dubey
LOS ANGELES, CALIF., USA, June 15, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Two baby foods touted as safe and organic sold at Target and Whole Foods contain alarming amounts of lead, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.Children who eat just one serving of Happy Tot cheese and spinach ravioli consume more than 12 times the maximum amount of lead a child can be exposed to in one day. And there’s more than a day’s maximum acceptable amount of lead exposure in a single Happy Tot apple and spinach fruit snack bar, the lawsuit states.
Whole Foods and Target Corp. are named in the lawsuit because they are the largest sellers of the two Happy Tot products, part of Happy Family Organics.
“Whole Foods wouldn’t sell an apple grown with pesticides, yet they keep selling baby food containing appalling amounts of lead to unsuspecting parents,” said Vineet Dubey, a Los Angeles attorney who focuses on environmental litigation.
No safe blood lead level in children has been identified, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet there is no federal standard for lead in baby food. The Washington Post recently reported that national health experts believe lead levels in baby food shouldn’t exceed 1 part per billion.
A February 2021 congressional report on heavy metals in baby foods found that almost 20 percent of Happy Family Organics’ finished baby food products contained lead in excess of 10 ppb, with some products testing as high as 641 ppb.
Lead poisoning can “seriously damage a child’s brain and nervous system, stunt their growth and development, and cause hearing and speech problems. Lead can impact a child’s ability to learn and also manifest as behavior problems,” Dubey said.
Happy Family Organics assures consumers online that all its products pass “rigorous” safety tests: “We can say with the utmost confidence that all Happy Family Organics products are safe for babies and toddlers to enjoy and we are proud to have best-in-class testing protocols in our industry. We only sell products that have been rigorously tested and we do not have products in-market with contaminant ranges outside of the limits set by the FDA.”
Nurture Inc. is the parent company of Happy Family Organics, based in New York, NY, and Boise, Idaho. Paris-based Danone — the makers of Dannon yogurt — own 92 percent of Happy Family.
These excessive lead levels were uncovered through independent laboratory tests conducted recently on an array of food products to determine if they complied with California’s Prop. 65 toxic warning label law. Neither Happy Tot product, both sold nationally, carry a Prop. 65 warning. Prop 65 is the law that forced warning labels on fish known to contain mercury, and on water bottles that leach BPAs.
“Let’s be clear: No amount of lead is safe for a child to consume, although low levels are allowed by law due to naturally occurring lead in the soil,” Dubey said. “Not warning parents of dangerous lead levels is a violation of California law, but it’s really a human rights violation. A baby food company should know lead hurts children and should never sell a product with this much lead.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ecological Alliance LLC at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. Ecological Alliance v. Nurture Inc., 21STCV22139 (L.A. Sup. Court, filed June. 15, 2021)
Vineet Dubey, a co-founding partner of Los Angeles-based Custodio & Dubey LLP, has dedicated his law career to pursuing environmental litigation, primarily suing companies that are selling goods to the public containing toxic and cancer-causing chemicals.
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These two Happy Tot foods contain dangerous levels of lead