Last month, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a staff report, claiming that baby food from several companies including Campbell Soup Corp’s Plum brand contains “dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.”
One week later, a class-action suit was filed in a federal court in Camden, New Jersey, where Campbell’s is headquartered.
The litigation accuses Campbell’s of concealing the presence of heavy metals in baby foods marketed in its Plum brand, reports the New Jersey-based news website, CourierPostOnline.com.
According to the suit, claims sought against Campbell’s could exceed $5 million. The suit also contends that industry self-regulation fails to protect consumers due to the fact that manufacturers’ internal standards for heavy-metal levels are dangerously high and pose a health risk.
The Congressional report threw two other companies under the bus for potentially harming infants with heavy metals: Walmart and Sprout’s. The congressional report claims that both companies refused to cooperate with the subcommitte’s investigation.
Both companies as well as Campbell’s failed to respond to a request for internal documents and test results, according to the Congressional report.
However, a representative from Campbell contended that the company responded quickly to Subcommittee’s questions … and never refused anything requested of us. Moreover, the company spokesperson said Campbell’s was “surprised” by the report’s allegation because heavy metals “will be present in the food to some extent” because they are “present throughout the environment, including soil and water.”
Campbell’s argued that there is no FDA standard for heavy metals in baby food yet internal testing at the company showed Plum baby food contained heavy metal levels “well within levels deemed acceptable by independent authorities.”
The lead plaintiff in the class action is an Illinois woman who purchased Plum products from December 2017 through January 2021.
Had consumers known heavy metals were present in Plum baby food, they would not have purchased it, alleges the class action claim, which adds that heavy metals can negatively impact IQ in infants.
A representative from Campbell Soup said the company intends to “defend this case vigorously.”