February 5, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 36

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February 03, 2023

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February 02, 2023

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Nurture Seeks Dismissal of Heavy Metals Lawsuit

 Nurture Says Heavy Metal Baby Food Claims Aren’t Realistic

  • Multiple consumer-protection lawsuits against Nurture, LLC were consolidated in the Southern District of New York on September 1, 2021.  Plaintiffs in the Consolidated Class Action Complaint (CAC) allege that Nurture’s organic baby food products are contaminated with dangerous levels of heavy metals.  We have reported on the dismissal of similar claims in actions against GerberPlum, and Sprout that were among numerous putative class action lawsuits filed in the wake of a Congressional report on heavy metals in baby food.  Summaries of the report and subsequent events are available here and here.

  • In a memorandum filed November 21, 2022 in support of a motion to dismiss the CAC, Nurture disputes whether the plaintiffs have stated a single plausible claim that the company’s baby food products are unsafe, are inaccurately labeled, exceed any applicable regulatory standard, or have otherwise caused any harm to any consumer.  While acknowledging that its finished products may contain trace levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium, or mercury, Nurture points to an authoritative statement by FDA that “low levels of these elements are naturally occurring, are unavoidably present in many baby food products, and, importantly, do not pose a health risk to babies and toddlers.”

  • Personal injury claims against Nurture that are also based on allegations of tainted baby food have been consolidated in a separate proceeding with no new developments thus far.  Keller and Heckman will continue to monitor and report on any developments in the Nurture cases or other heavy metal baby food-related lawsuits.

Lauren Haas, Nicholas Prust, Frederick Stearns, and Emily Thomas also contributed to this article.

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 332

About this Author

Lisa P. Alsobrook Attorney Keller Heckman DC Office

Lisa Alsobrook practices in the area of food and drug law. She advises domestic and foreign clients on regulatory requirements for foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and food and drug packaging in jurisdictions around the world. Her main focus is regulatory and compliance matters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture relating to human food, food packaging material, animal feed, food additives and ingredients, and dietary supplements.

Prior to attending law school, Lisa earned a master’s degree in Food Science. She worked as a...

Melvin S. Drozen, FDA, regulatory lawyer, Keller Heckman, law firm

Melvin S. Drozen joined Keller and Heckman in 1987.

Mr. Drozen advises clients on a broad spectrum of FDA, FTC, USDA and EPA (pesticides) regulatory matters, ranging from premarket approval requirements for food additives, dietary supplement ingredients, drugs, and medical devices to advertising and labeling provisions applicable to all of these products. Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, he was an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., and then an attorney in the General Counsel's Office of the Food and Drug Administration for seven...

Jill M Mahoney Associate Attorney Keller Heckman

Jill Mahoney advises clients on regulatory requirements for food, animal feed, food additives, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. She counsels clients on labeling and advertising compliance and claims substantiation issues, including nutrition labeling, ingredient declarations, nutrient content claims, structure function claims, and Country of Origin labeling. She assists food, animal feed, and dietary supplement manufacturers in preparing self-determined GRAS positions, GRAS Notifications for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submissions, New Dietary Ingredient Notification submissions...

Richard Mann Partner Keller Heckman DC

Richard (Rick) Mann represents his clients in business and trade association disputes relating to food advertising, promotional and labeling claims, food safety and compliance issues, and general business and corporate law matters.

Rick works extensively with clients in the development of compliant advertising, promotional, and labeling claims and campaigns, and the development of appropriate support for such claims. His regulatory experience allows him to represent his clients in proceedings at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the National...

Paula S. Pastuskovas San Francisco Food and Drug Attorney Keller and Heckman

Paula Pastuskovas counsels domestic and international clients on regulatory and compliance matters in food and drug law. She assists clients in obtaining regulatory clearances for food additives and food-contact materials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada, and other comparable international agencies. She advises clients on food labeling, ingredient, and substantiation issues. 

As a resident of the firm’s San Francisco office, Paula also advises companies on compliance with California’s state and local laws. This...