Toxic Heavy Metals in Baby Food Products: Vineet Dubey Discusses his Lawsuit Against Gerber

Mother feeding baby food to child

Vineet Dubey, co-founder of Custodio & Dubey LLP, has made multiple news media appearances, including interviews with Erupt, Newsy, and Fox 32 Chicago, to discuss his lawsuit against Gerber and their toxic baby food products.

Following a recent congressional report which found that baby food manufacturers were doing nothing to reduce toxic heavy metals in their baby foods, Dubey joined Erupt for a lengthy interview to examine the details of the lawsuit he filed on behalf of Ecological Alliance. In the interview, Dubey describes the detrimental effects lead has on children, the issues with California and federal law, and what you can do to help.

Both of Gerber’s products in question tested well above the 0.5 microgram exposure limit of lead according to California law; a single serving of Gerber sweet potato, apple, carrot, and cinnamon carried 1.7 micrograms of lead. Dubey explained, “Lead consumption in infants is a huge issue and it’s extremely scary because it affects every aspect of an infant’s neurological development, their IQ, their intelligence, their sight, and their hearing.”

Dubey then discussed how he went about filing the lawsuit under California’s Proposition 65 and the implications this proposition has in the food industry. “We filed a lawsuit under California’s Proposition 65, which is a warning law that basically says if you’re selling a product that contains toxic chemicals you either take it off the shelves and reformulate the product or you place a warning label on that product and sell it so people are aware. [...]. The issue is Prop. 65 isn’t ‘a before you sell a product you have to show us proof that there aren't chemicals’ kind of law. It’s a law where if a consumer finds out, if we test and find out that there are toxic chemicals, you can bring a lawsuit and then you can force the companies to change.”

A recent Congressional subcommittee report found that baby food manufacturers are responsible for setting their own standards for how much heavy metal — lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury – can be in the foods they sell. Without FDA regulation requirements and mandatory labeling, they are able to easily ignore their own standards and continue to sell their products without issuing recalls. Dubey tells Erupt that Congress must set these standards because “Gerber truly is the most trusted name in baby food, and when a company like Gerber is putting the bottom line over consumers’ health, you have a huge issue. This is a bigger issue in terms of how corporate America interacts with the public and whether selling safe products to consumers is the most important thing. We have gotten to a point where the bottom line for these companies takes precedence to anything else and it’s scary because we’re talking about products that we feed ourselves and our children.”

How can you help and protect your children? Dubey calls on American parents to “call your Congressman, make sure they are pushing for the Baby Food Safety Act to get passed ASAP. Another thing they can do is avoid food with sweet potatoes. For whatever reason, all of our testing has found sweet potatoes just leach lead out of the soil and bring it into the products that they are put into. So one of the main things you can do is stay away from any baby foods, any pouches, any food for toddlers with sweet potatoes.”

Read more about Dubey’s Gerber lawsuit at:

Read the full transcript at: