Not long after the publication of the U.S. Congressional Report detailing the alarmingly high levels of heavy metals—such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium—in various major baby food brands, a number of baby food autism lawsuits were filed across the country. Nevertheless, there have never been any successful tort lawsuits in which autism was the primary injury. Previous efforts to link autism to some types of negligent action have generally failed.

In 2020, the U.S. House Subcommittee of Economic and Consumer Policy conducted a review of internal documents and test results from seven of the largest baby food manufacturers in the United States and found high levels of toxic metals in both conventional and organic baby food products, including:

  • Happy BABY (Nurture, Inc.)
  • Beech-Nut Baby Food (Beech-Nut Nutrition Company)
  • Earth’s Best Organic (Hain Celestial Group, Inc.)
  • Gerber (Gerber Products Co.)
  • Plum Organics (Campbell Soup Company)
  • Parent’s Choice (a Walmart private brand)
  • Sprout Organic Foods (Sprout Foods, Inc.)

The committee published its initial findings in February 2021 on only four of the companies. The title of the report basically tells the story: “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury.” A follow up report issued in late September 2021, shows similar results for the three other manufacturers not included in the initial report.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) heavy metal limits for bottled water sold to adults are:

  • 10 parts per billion (ppb) of inorganic arsenic;
  • 5 ppb of cadmium;
  • 5 ppb of lead;
  • 2 ppb of mercury.

The Congressional Reports on baby foods found:

  • Arsenic up to 91 times more than the level of deemed acceptable for adults;
  • Cadmium up to 69 times more than the level deemed acceptable for adults;
  • Lead up to 177 times more than the level deemed acceptable for adults;
  • Mercury up to five times more than the level deemed acceptable for adults;

Remember, this information comes from the companies’ own testing results and internal documents. Therefore, the companies knew that the ingredients going into their products contained those high levels of dangerous metals but did nothing about it.

Effects of toxic heavy metal poisoning:

These toxic substances are known to cause irreversible neurodevelopmental disorders and other health problems in developing children. Consumption of these toxic baby foods may be linked to the development of conditions such as ADHD and autism. Also, can affect long-term brain function.

What is autism spectrum disorder?

  • A neurologic disorder that impairs the individual’s ability to engage in normal social interactions, learning, and interpersonal communications. Autism cannot be cured.
  • Exposure to heavy metals can cause irreversible damage to brain development in children.


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8. Top Class Actions. (April 22, 2022). Contaminated Baby Food and Autism: Who’s Affected? Retrieved from