Dozen of baby food lawsuits were submitted by families of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Here’s what parents need to know about the pending litigation.
What Causes Autism and How Does Heavy Metal Exposure Affect Your Risk for ASD?
Despite an increase in diagnoses, the precise cause of autism spectrum disorders remains a mystery. Researchers have studied many factors that are believed to be causally or correlated with ASD. Many research studies, like this one article published in the medical journal The Lancet Neurology, studied the impact of heavy metal exposure on the risks of developing autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly during infancy and infancy.
“Baby food is contaminated with dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. “
What is autism?
Autism spectrum disorders, or ASD, is a developmental disorder that affects how an individual views the world and others around them and how they communicate and socialize with other people. the Mayo Clinic notes the importance of the “spectrum” part of ASD in conveying the variety of different symptoms and levels of severity that people with autism spectrum disorders may experience.
ASD is not something that can be “cured”. However, there are interventions, such as physical and cognitive therapy, vocational training, medications, and assistive devices, that can help a child with ASD develop the skills they need to be able to communicate and live a full life. and fulfilling. In general, the earlier children with ASD are able to start the treatment they need, the better. CDC.
When do children have symptoms of ASD?
Signs of autism usually appear early in life. The first symptoms of ASD may be noticeable by the time the child is 12 months, 18 months or 24 months old, depending on the National Institutes of Health. However, many children are not diagnosed until after the age of three.
Can Heavy Metals in Baby Foods Cause Autism?
The cause or, probably, cause-autism is still not fully understood. Several factors can potentially play a role in the onset of autism, such as genetic factors. However, researchers now believe that “non-genetic environmental exposures are involved in the causation” of ASD (and other neurodevelopmental disorders) in many cases, according to the Lancet Neurology article referenced above. In particular, the researchers who wrote this article were looking at the effects of neurotoxicants, including heavy metals that have been found in contaminated baby food.
The conclusions of many research studies support the idea that exposure to these heavy metals, especially during infancy and infancy, when the brain is at particularly sensitive developmental stages, could increase the risk of developing ASD. The lawsuits currently pending against the baby food manufacturers have alleged that “the defendant’s baby food design flaws were significant factors in the plaintiffs’ injuries.”
All of this data boils down to the fact that, yes, there is some evidence to suggest that exposure to toxic heavy metals in baby foods can cause autism spectrum disorders or at least increase a child’s risk of developing ASD.
Why does baby food contain heavy metals?
The plaintiffs alleged that “children who consume the baby food of the defendants are exposed to repeated and high doses of several toxic heavy metals, thus increasing the risk of ASD.”
Heavy metals that have been found in commercially produced baby foods are environmental contaminants. Because they occur naturally in air, water, and soil, it is not possible to completely avoid the potential for heavy metals in food products. Even homemade baby food mixed with fresh organic produce can still contain a low level of exposure to heavy metals. This is because the rice, vegetables, and other plants that produce the ingredients used to make baby food can absorb heavy metals from the soil and water supply as they grow.
Since we know that these heavy metals are neurotoxic, it is important to limit exposure to them as much as possible, especially in infants and toddlers. Still, the Congressional report on baby food contaminated with heavy metals showed that some of the most popular brands of baby food contained “sometimes alarming levels,” according to Consumer Reports.
The dozens of lawsuits that have been brought against baby food manufacturers have alleged that the defendants set “dangerously inflated internal limits” which they then “willfully flout” and, further, that “malicious recklessness and the defendants’ callous disregard for human life has wreaked havoc on the health of countless vulnerable children.
These lawsuits describe several ways in which the baby food manufacturers involved in the claims could have produced foods that pose less risk of toxic exposure to heavy metals, including:
- Sampling of food ingredients from different sources
- Switch to alternative ingredients
- Stop the use of added vitamins and minerals that contain heavy metals in large amounts
- Warn parents of the potential increased risk of ASD and other harms due to prolonged and repeated exposure to neurotoxic heavy metals
In the lawsuits, the plaintiffs alleged that “the defendants’ children consuming baby food are exposed to repeated and high doses of several toxic heavy metals, thereby increasing the risk of ASD.” Through legal action, these plaintiffs seek compensation for the economic and non-economic harms their children have suffered.
What baby foods contain heavy metals?
The congressional report addresses the issue of heavy metal contamination in baby foods produced by major manufacturers, including:
- Beech and Walnut Nutrition Society
- HappyBABY / Happy Family Organics from Nurture, Inc.
- Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Earth’s Best Organic Product
- Parents’ Choice of Walmart Inc.
- Plum Organics by Campbell Soup Company
- Sprout Foods, Inc. of North Castle Partners
If you think that exposure to contaminated baby food may have harmed your child, talk to your child’s doctor so your child can get the help they need and see a lawyer who can help you. help protect your family’s legal rights.