California is suing two makers of toddler formula after state officials say they found dangerous levels of lead in both of them.
Levels of lead found in ‘Sammy’s Milk Free-Range Goat Milk Toddler Formula’ and ‘Peaceful Planet Toddler Supreme Formula’ were higher than allowed by both the Food and Drug Administration and California’s Proposition 65.
In food products meant for infants and children, California law allows no more than 0.5 micrograms per deciliter of blood.
Tests conducted by the Department of Justice found that ‘Peaceful Planet’ had 13 times the allowed lead level and ‘Sammy’s Milk’ had 15 times the level allowed.
Kids with more than five micrograms per deciliter of blood – seen in children in Flint, Michigan during the water crisis – often experience damage to their brain, kidneys, and bone marrow.
California is suing the makers of ‘Peaceful Planet’ (left) and ‘Sammy’s Milk’ (right) after officials claimed they both dangerously high levels of lead, 13 times the allowed lead level and d 15 times the level allowed, respectively
Lead exposure is especially dangerous for children. Ingesting large amounts of the metal could cause children to experience severe stomachaches and muscle weakness.
They could even develop anemia, a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Even at low levels, lead can affect a child’s mental and physical growth – permanently damaging the brain and leading to memory problems, lack of concentration, and difficult forming abstract concepts.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said both companies have agreed to stop selling the products in California ahead of the lawsuit.
WHAT IS LEAD POISONING?
Lead poisoning occurs when the metal builds up in the body.
Children younger than six years old are particularly vulnerable as such poisoning can damage their mental and physical development.
In severe cases, lead poisoning can be fatal.
Lead poisoning is often caused by exposure to contaminated paint and dust in water, air and soil.
Symptoms include learning difficulties, irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, seizures and hearing loss.
Aside from removing the source of contamination, treatment includes medication that encourages lead removal via urine.
Blood lead levels higher than five micrograms is considered abnormal in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some 535,000 children in the US are thought to have at least levels this high, the CDC adds.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Nutraceutical Corp, in Park City, Utah, makes ‘Peaceful Planet’ and ‘Sammy’s Milk’ is made by Graceleigh, Inc, in Newport Beach, California.
‘This is a parent’s worst nightmare. Toddler formula should contain nutrients that help children grow, not poisonous substances that can threaten their healthy development,’ Becerra said during a press conference on Thursday.
According to the CDC, a public health concern is issued if lead levels surpass 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood in adults and five micrograms in children under six years old.
The FDA has set a maximum intake of no more than six micrograms per day, which both products exceeded.
‘These levels are high enough to pose a threat to a child’s health, especially since toddlers consume formula on a daily basis,’ Becerra said.
‘It’s also important to note that these companies made advertising claims regarding the purity of their products. These statements obviously are inaccurate, given the lead levels of their products.’
On the website for ‘Sammy’s Milk’, claims include that the ingredients are ‘selected for purity’ and the product is ‘clean nutrition’. Nutraceutical Corporation claims that Peaceful Planet is ‘CLEAN!’ and ‘PURE!’ on its website.
According to the lawsuit, violating Proposition 65 carries a fine of $2,500 per day and violating the unfair competition and false advertising laws carries a fine of no more than $2,500 per violation.
Daily Mail Online has reached out to both Graceleigh and Nutraceutical to address the allegations but has not hear back from either company.
In a press release, Nutraceutical said it plans to contest the lawsuit, saying its product does not pose any safety risk to consumers, based on an opinion from a former FDA toxicologist.
This is not the first time that one of the companies has come under fire.
In 2016, the FDA accused Graceleigh of not properly testing one its ‘Sammy’s Milk’ products of Cronobacter, a bacteria that can cause severe and sometimes fatal blood infections or meningitis in infants. The product was recalled.