Below are some of our videos explaining the dangers of toxic baby food. To learn more about this danger and the link to infant neurological injuries, click Baby Food.
Regulators are Still Allowing Toxic Baby Foods to be Sold
Mike Papantonio: Since Congress released its report about dozens of baby food companies selling tainted toxic metals, lawsuits have piled up against manufacturers. So why are regulators still allowing these products to be sold on the shelves? Attorney Stephen Luongo joins me to talk about it. Steve, this is, this is easy math, isn’t it? You know, the FDA doesn’t do anything for years and years. Congress has to put together a special committee because they’re getting so much information about this baby food being contaminated with arsenic and cadmium and lead and mercury and about every heavy metal on the planet. And so Congress says, look, it’s you, you better do something or we’re going to pass some legislation to make you do it. FDA still asleep at the wheel.
Stephen Luongo: It seems like every week we’re back here talking about these government agencies that aren’t doing anything.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah.
Stephen Luongo: We were constantly talking about what is the FDA doing? What is their purpose? Why are they not getting involved? And that’s exactly what we have here is we have several whistleblowers, several lawsuits throughout the country, bringing to attention to the public forum, hey, these heavy metals are in the baby food. They’re susceptible to these infants and they’re causing damage. And the FDA is just sitting on their hands.
Mike Papantonio: Well, to be clear, these are lawsuits where they’ve, the lawyers have tested the baby food and they found, they found sky-rocketing levels of arsenic parts per billion well above a hundred. Well, well above what the legal levels should be. And so, so the problem is these heavy metals cause developmental problems in children. They’re very specific about how they go about that. You have families that feed the same baby food, whether it’s Beech-Nut or whatever it is to the child year after year, day after day and it’s accumulative. The heavy metals are accumulative in the child’s body. What companies are now being sued?
Stephen Luongo: So you mentioned one earlier, Beech-Nut, is obviously one of them. But we have the big boys. We have Gerber, we have Campbell Soup. We have Walmart, as well as Nurture Inc and Earth’s Best.
Mike Papantonio: We’ll post them up on this show up on this slide so people can see it. What’s happened, what’s happening with the FDA? They’re again, there’s no surprise. They’re silent about it. They’re almost embarrassed by the fact that Congress had to put together a special committee. And when they did the job, they said, what are you guys waiting for to do something? If you don’t do something, we’re going to do something congressionally because we know this, we know that the biggest problem, here’s one thing they found. The biggest problem is rice. Okay. They use rice in the baby food as a filler because it’s cheap. But the rice has a tendency to suck up every heavy metal around in the soil, right?
Stephen Luongo: Absolutely. The rice is the major product, specifically the rice cereal products that they’re feeding these infants and what the, the heavy metal that is really becoming the problem is the arsenic. The inor, inorganic arsenic is being soaked up by this rice. The FDA, they did give some guidance last year, as far as what an acceptable parts per billion is for the arsenic. They have it listed at a hundred, even though they also give guidance as far as what is acceptable in bottle of water and it’s at 10 points per billion.
Mike Papantonio: Right, right. Bottled water, the EPA has to admit it’s 10 parts per billion. But they’re saying, okay, but we’re saying, when it comes to feeding children baby food, you can give them a hundred parts per billion.
Stephen Luongo: Right.
Mike Papantonio: Look, the FDA is guide, they said, well, we have to be guided by science. Can you imagine the FDA saying, we need to be guided by science? There’s so much science out there right now it’s overwhelming. But the problem is what you have is this gaggle of corporate controlled stooges that are involved in the regulatory aspect. They’re just, and all they’re doing is they’re just jockeying for a job. You know, the person looking at this case may be saying, you know what, when I leave here, maybe Beech-Nut will give me a job where they pay half a million dollars a year. That’s exactly what’s happening with virtually every agency. But the FDA is really one of the worst revolving door that’s taking place. Congress proposed the baby food safety act. Tell me about it.
Stephen Luongo: So that was proposed by Raja Krishna. Morphe, a Congressman out of Illinois and what they are proposing and giving guidance on is saying FDA’s doing nothing as far as giving these levels and regulations for all four of these major heavy metals. So they went ahead and did it, and they proposed for the arsenic, they’re proposing the 10 parts per billion or 15 parts for the cereal. As well as for lead, five parts per billion, cadmium, five points per billion and mercury two points.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Cadmium is probably one of the worst also. Thank you for joining me. Okay.
Stephen Luongo: Absolutely. Thank you, sir.
Major Baby Food Makers Have Been Poisoning Your Children With Toxic Metals For Years
Mike Papantonio: Back in February, the House of Representatives released an alarming report about toxic heavy metals found in popular baby foods. Now manufacturers are in the hot seat facing a bundle of class actions, attorney Madeline Pendley joins me now to talk about this. You know, I, I, my takeaway on this, one of the first, one of the first things I read was the FDA has an action plan. That’s almost an, that’s an oxymoron.
Madeline Pendley: Yeah, it’s discouraging. It doesn’t mean anything at all.
Mike Papantonio: It means nothing’s going to happen. Tell us why these class action lawsuits are about.
Madeline Pendley: Essentially the biggest baby food manufacturers in the country have been poisoning your children. So these manufacturers have sold baby food that’s contaminated with significantly high levels of very dangerous heavy metals, like arsenic, lead, mercury and children have been exposed to it for years.
Mike Papantonio: It’s a long-term exposure that’s the issue. I mean, a doctor can say, yeah, if baby eats mashed up pears, that taste awful by the way, eats them, then they’re probably going to be okay for that.
Madeline Pendley: Right.
Mike Papantonio: But when they do it day after day after day for years, it is that long-term exposure that causes the problem, right?
Madeline Pendley: Right. So part of the problem with heavy metals is the exposure kind of builds up or accumulates in the body each time somebody is exposed. So really any exposure can add to a harmful amount of heavy metals in the body.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. In other words, you don’t just rid your body of heavy metals, every 24 hours. It’s bioaccumulative is what they would call it.
Madeline Pendley: Exactly.
Mike Papantonio: Some of them are what we call biopersistent.
Madeline Pendley: Right.
Mike Papantonio: But we do know this, it’s bioactive. It affects, it affects your systems, your, your brain, other, other systems in the body. And they’ve known about, they, they’ve known about the dangers of heavy metals for decades and decades. Who are the companies that are involved in this?
Madeline Pendley: It’s a lot of really big household names, actually, you know, like Campbell’s, Beech-Nut, Gerber, Happy Baby by Nurture and Parent’s Choice by Walmart.
Mike Papantonio: Doesn’t it, doesn’t that sound sick? Happy Baby has now, my memory is Happy Baby had, where it came to, it came to arsenic, it had like 600 times what it should have, 600 parts per billion. Is that right?
Madeline Pendley: Exactly, yes.
Mike Papantonio: And that is, that’s off the scale.
Madeline Pendley: Right.
Mike Papantonio: And nevertheless, Happy Baby’s selling the product and they’re saying, gee whiz, everything’s going to be okay. Your, your baby’s going to be well taken care of. Some of them even advertise that it’s organic and you don’t have to worry about it, right?
Madeline Pendley: Right. And the problem with organic is, I mean, whether this is true or not, when people are purchasing organic products, they’re doing it because they want it to be safer to some extent, you know, they want it to be free from harmful chemicals and things like that. So it’s especially frustrating that these companies were allowed to market their product as organic and therefore safer although it had significantly high levels of dangerous heavy metals.
Mike Papantonio: What are the potential health impacts that we’re talking about here? What would, what do we expect when you take a child that’s in those developmental years and you expose them to heavy metals for years?
Madeline Pendley: So what we know is, is one, this is not some hypothetical harm that we’re talking about. There are many studies that correlate heavy metal exposure to children with developmental delays. So we see things like cognitive disabilities, behavioral problems, permanent reduction in IQ, and all of these things can lead to the child needing, you know, special education programs and a reduction in their overall quality of life.
Mike Papantonio: Well, I know the science has been around a long time. We know, for example, the lead paint cases where children would often take the paint off the wall and eat it, and, you know.
Madeline Pendley: Right. Yeah. There’s no question that this stuff is dangerous to people, especially young children and especially at regular regimented doses like daily baby food exposure.
Mike Papantonio: So there’s no guesswork here. We’re not just, there’s no, what we call medical causation, scientific causation questions, that science has been out there long time. Is there any movement in the federal system to maybe make the FDA for once, just one time, have the FDA do what they’re supposed to do, or is it still controlled with whoever’s in office? Of course this has been going, this, this has been going on for so long. It’s every administration, it’s not any one administration.
Madeline Pendley: Right. So this issue has been on the FDA’s radar for at least a decade. You know, from what we can see in publicly accessible information, they’ve known for at least a decade. And so we can see that if they want to, they can establish heavy metal exposure thresholds for other things. They’ve done it for water, you know, you can’t have more than like five parts per billion of lead, 10 of arsenic. But for some reason, the FDA is okay with over 900 parts per billion of arsenic in baby food, which is what we’re seeing. So what, what the FDA needs to do is develop a proactive system for detecting heavy metals in baby food so we can get this stuff off the market.
Mike Papantonio: Well, I mean, don’t you at least warn the parent?
Madeline Pendley: You would think, at least.
Mike Papantonio: I mean, isn’t it a failure to warn case here, when you say, look, you need, need to know this.
Madeline Pendley: Right.
Mike Papantonio: We’ve tested it for arsenic and there’s arsenic in here and we’ve tested it for. What mother’s gonna say, yeah, that sounds good? Let me feed this to my child.
Madeline Pendley: Well that’s, that’s why they won’t tell us about it because if anybody actually knew, as far as the companies, I mean, if anybody actually knew how much dangerous material was in this food, nobody would buy it. And so actually these companies were investigated by the US House of Representatives investigation committee. And that report was released earlier this year. So this is all publicly accessible. And what they found is that all of these companies involved that we talked about earlier, either tested their product, saw the dangerous levels and sold it anyway or never tested their product at all. So either knowingly exposed children to a dangerous toxin or didn’t care enough to figure out whether or not they were.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah, at this point, full disclosure, our law firm is involved in these class actions that are being talked about. But I think this, this, this is bigger than that. It’s not a class action. You have children, the mother can say, there’s no other exposure my child had, they had developmental problems. Yeah, they took a Happy Baby and ate it three times a day for three, four years. You know, you do the math, you do the science and there are plenty of experts that can say this threshold, this burden of heavy metals, absolutely had a connection to these developmental problems. So I, to me, what I’m amazed about is that there was no national case put together. The MDL, which is the multi-district litigation panel should have granted that, they should have said, yeah, let’s look at this nationally, but they didn’t.
Madeline Pendley: Right.
Mike Papantonio: So, you know, we’re going to do what we always do. Go after them anyway.
Madeline Pendley: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: Thank you for joining me.
Report Finds FDA Failure Led To Toxic Baby Food Contamination & Supreme Court Takes On Big Business
Mike Papantonio: A new report has revealed shocking levels of dangerous heavy metals in baby food and FDA has been asleep at the wheel as usual. I have Farron Cousins with me to talk about it, he’s the editor of the trial lawyer magazine and honestly, I don’t, I just say this for the right reason, one of the best progressive reporters in this business, I really do mean that.
Farron Cousins: Thank you.
Mike Papantonio: Farron, I looked at this story and I wasn’t all that surprised, you know, it’s the FDA, but lay this story out. Here we have, we have baby food that has cadmium, lead, arsenic in it and the FDA has been diddling around with this for a generation, almost. Take it from there.
Farron Cousins: It, it really has. What this report tells us and they’ve been looking into this for several years, because they had inklings, they had reports, they had internal documents that showed, okay, well, these baby food companies know they’ve got some heavy metals in their food. So let’s find out how bad the problem is. They didn’t compel any of these companies to cooperate, which is a big, big misstep by the way. But then we find out not only are there shocking levels, I mean, we’re talking about hundreds of parts per billion more than what would be considered safe, but the FDA also has no limits. There’s no limits on most baby food.
Mike Papantonio: See, see that’s the problem. They don’t have limits on things like PFAS, for example, that’s in our water because they haven’t studied it. They, the politics have, have prevented it. They don’t have limits on things like, like arsenic. They’ve got a limit on lead, which is one part per billion in baby food, which is way crazy because lead, because, because lead is cumulative. It’s bio-persistent, and it’s cumulative and it’s bioactive in the system, causes neurological disease. But who, okay, so who are these companies? Let’s call some names, Gerber, Beech-Nut, Happy baby, Campbell Soup and any time, by the way, anytime I see Nestle involved.
Farron Cousins: Yeah, Nestle’s Gerber.
Mike Papantonio: Nestle is Gerber. What an awful company. I mean just the worst of the worst predator company. And so here, here’s the point, they’re saying this, which I think is ridiculous. Well, you know what, we tested each of the components. If we used rice, we tested the rice. If we use whatever we tested it, doesn’t make any difference.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: They never tested the end product, which is the composite of all of these metals.
Farron Cousins: Right. So, so they would take like, okay, well, the rice has some mercury in it. The, the, the carrots have some arsenic in it. The peas, they’ve got some lead, but we’re just going to mix them all together and add all of these horrible things into this horrid concoction that you’re feeding your child. We’re not going to tell you about it. The FDA doesn’t care about it. And it took Congress to finally say, hey, uh, companies, could you, would you be willing to hand over your studies? You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah.
Farron Cousins: This, this is systemic failures across the board.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Please do it voluntarily.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: You understand they do the same thing with the pharmaceutical industry.
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: Please, please would you please, oh, would you please give us this information? This is what they’re doing here. Now, just to give you a sense of it. Okay. Beech-Nut, 800 parts per billion in lead, 800 parts per billion, 300 parts per billion of cadmium. Now we, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand, go Google it. See what cadmium can do to the neurological centers of your, of your body. See what lead can do. See what arsenic can do. These are all heavy metals. They collect in the body. They stay there. They don’t move through the body and it’s here today and gone tomorrow. That’s why every time you see these lead paint cases, these kids that have been eating paint off the side of the wall, they’re permanently damaged the rest of their life.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: The IQ is affected. Looks, they, they develop Asperger’s disease, things that look like autism and so we know what the problem is and these companies, they know that they could go to certain places in the world where we have less cadmium in the rice, less lead in the rice. They could go there, but they say, oh, no, let’s go over here because we get a better deal.
Farron Cousins: Right.
Mike Papantonio: They’re going to send us rice that, yeah, it might be infected with, with lead or mercury, but we’re getting a good deal.
Farron Cousins: Well, and people need to start asking questions as to why are there no limits on these heavy metal toxins in baby foods? You’re talking about the most vulnerable portion of any population anywhere is these developing children. You know, from the time they are, most of them about three months old, when they start eating foods like this, they’re still developing. Their brains have not finished. You know, their neurological system has not finished being put together and you’re already putting toxic metals into them. Why did the FDA never decide, wait a minute, maybe we shouldn’t poison kids?
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Farron, how about this. So Campbell Soup and Walmart said, no, we’re not giving you our stuff and the FDA has said, okay. That’s ok. The FDA needs to be completely just start from scratch again, get all of these political pimps, all of these corporate pimps that worked for the FDA that all they care about, they’re always looking for their next job. If I get mad at Campbell Soup, or I get mad at Walmart, they might not give me a job when I leave the FDA. And we see it all the time in pharmaceutical cases, you know, we see, we see, hey, here’s your way out of the FDA. You’ll see Pfizer or Merck, here’s your way out of the FDA. Because if you work with us on this Joe or Mary, you know what we can’t promise you, but when you get out, we might have a job for you that pays a million and half dollars and it’s better than your $125,000 a year.
Farron Cousins: Right. And the, the person who goes and fills the vacant spot at the FDA also typically comes from that company too. That’s the revolving door.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah.
Farron Cousins: You know, Pfizer will send their people to the FDA, they’ll take in the FDA’s people. It’s, it’s worse with all the drug companies.
Mike Papantonio: It is so corrupt. It is just so corrupt and the American public, maybe they’ll pay attention to this. I mean, these are their children. Because most people say, ah, I don’t want to get involved. I don’t understand it.
Mike Papantonio: Congressional hearings with CEOs from big tech have cast antitrust violations in the spotlight and the Supreme Court is about to tackle multiple other cases, which revolve around corporate accountability. Executive director, from Public Justice Paul Bland, he’s going to join me now to talk about this. First of all, Bland, Mr. Bland, the first case on the docket is against TransUnion and its, it has to do with terrorist watch list. Now from a, let’s avoid legalees, walk us through why that’s important for the average American. Okay.
FDA Fails To Regulate Toxic Metals In Baby Foods
Mike Papantonio: Some of the most popular baby foods in America contain dangerous levels of toxic metals. And these metals are having a massive impact on developmental bodies of children. Joining me to talk about this is Farron Cousins from the trial lawyer magazine. Farron, you know, this story, first of all, check and see how much television coverage this is getting from corporate media. How about almost zero. Why? Because these baby food manufacturers spend a lot of money on advertising, whether it’s Gerber, whether it’s happy baby, they spend a lot of money on television. So somebody in the, in the big office says, oh, we can’t do a story on this. Same thing we faced with cigarettes. Same thing we faced with dozens and dozens of, of pharmaceuticals that are killing people.
Farron Cousins: Right. And Gerber alone spends about $20 million a quarter on advertising, you know, in traditional corporate media. So that alone is enough to keep stories like this silent. But, but Congress earlier this year, just a few months ago, came out with this big massive study that said, essentially, we are poisoning children in the United States with these baby foods. Gerber, Beech-Nut, happy baby, toxic levels of these heavy metals. And oh, by the way, the FDA doesn’t actually regulate the amount of toxic heavy metals in these baby foods. So that’s why they did the report to say, hey, maybe FDA, if you feel like it, do something. And of course the story just dies. It dies immediately.
Mike Papantonio: It’s self-regulation. They say to the, they say to Gerber. Look, I mean, who are these, who are these freaks? I mean, it’s happy, now think about this, happy baby. Okay. Food called happy baby has 600 times the amount of arsenic. Now follow me on this. In, in, in water, the FDA does take a position if it’s drinkable water. It should be only five parts per billion. Okay. Happy baby is putting six parts per billion of arsenic in the happy baby food. And media doesn’t say a word about it. The, it’s causing developmental problems with these kids. It’s lowering their IQ. It’s, it’s, it’s enabling well, it’s enabling this company to just absolutely hustle these parents and not feel any shame about it. That’s what’s been going on for a decade here.
Farron Cousins: Right. And we’re talking about potential yearly economic losses of about $80 billion a year from poisoning these children. We’re talking 10% of children in the United States, having dangerous levels of these toxic heavy metals go into their body every day. And here’s the kicker too. It’s not only in the baby foods, you know, for the people who say, well, I make my own baby food. It turns out this report also found it’s actually systemic all throughout the food in the United States.
Mike Papantonio: And why? Because farmers don’t want to remove the top soil. Easy solution, you take the top soil out because the top soil is exposed to all types of carbons, all types of pesticides. And so what you do is scrape the top, move it through and then use another layer. It’s too expensive to do that. So the choice is, well, hell, we’ll just poison the baby. The worst thing about it is, I mean, this is so sick. The, the FDA says, we take this seriously. Really? They’ve done nothing about it for a decade. They’ve been told and time and time again. We brought a case against them. We tested the baby food. We saw it way, way out of kilter, a hundred, 200 times what it should be. Look, what we’re talking about is mercury. We’re talking about arsenic. We’re talking about lead. We’re talking about cadmium that a mother is feeding their child without any kind of warning on the label that says, hey, wait a second. You understand it’s heavy metals and heavy metals will call development, cause developmental problems. I don’t know how it gets worse.
Farron Cousins: Well, you know, and that’s where the line is really drawn here. It’s one thing if these food companies didn’t understand what was happening with their baby foods, if they didn’t know these poisons and toxins were going in there, but, but from what we can tell right now, it sure seems like they knew. And that’s where the liability comes in. You knew. You did nothing to warn. That’s a failure.
Mike Papantonio: Bush was asked to get involved and do something, right? Obama was asked to get involved and do something and they didn’t. And now you have the Biden administration. Get involved and do something. What’s your bet?
Farron Cousins: My bet is that’s we’ve seen all we’re going to see on this issue for the year.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah and in corporate media, this will die. They won’t do it on television because they don’t want to, they don’t want to hurt their pocket book.
Mike Papantonio: Victims and family members of the 9/11 attacks are calling on the government to release an FBI report detailing Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks. This report has been out there since 9/11. FBI looked at everything. Of course, they were partially responsible for it. CIA looked at everything. Of course they were partially responsible for it because they didn’t do their job. So they create a report and the report’s supposed to say, not just let’s look at Saudi Arabia, let’s look at everything and they cover up the important facts about Saudi Arabia. These families can’t even get the report and they’ve asked for it through two presidencies.
Farron Cousins: Right. And essentially they could have gotten it from really any of the last four presidents. And that includes Biden because we have known the information about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in this, since almost immediately after the attacks. You know, Bush aided the Saudi family, getting them, you know, they’re people rounded up and out of the United States. Obama virtually silent on this issue. Donald Trump’s silent on it. And, and here’s Biden who actually just approved that big arms sale to Saudi Arabia that he had said earlier, wasn’t going to happen, but now he’s back giving them arms. And we have victims here. We have people in the United States waiting for, not even the, the compensation. They want an answer. They want to know why their loved ones died and who was responsible for it.
Mike Papantonio: And they, we know this, we know the Royal family is hugely influenced by the Wahhabis over there. The Wahhabis that have such a huge influence on the Royal family. Why? Because all the Royal family is doing, the Saudi Arabian Royal family, all they’re doing is saying, well, if we keep giving these folks money, maybe they won’t cause a revolution in our country. That’s what it is. It is like, you know, gun to the head and the Wahhabi, you know, the Wahhabi Clerics, they’ve got a gun to the Saudi Arabians head and the leadership has a gun to their head. It’s, it’s a stalemate. But we do know this. We do know that, that when they first started looking at it, we heard a lot of activity about how the Saudi Arabian family was involved. And now we can’t even get Biden and we couldn’t get Obama to release the report. You understand, we’re suing these folks. We’re, the government’s not doing their job. We’re personally having, this law firm, having to sue these folks just to get a look at what really happened here.
Farron Cousins: I know. And that’s the saddest part too, is that why even commission a report? Why go through all the steps only to cover it up? There’s gotta be some information in here that’s worse than yes, Saudi Arabia was involved. There, there, I, I’m assuming based on the cover-up that now, as you’ve said, it’s expanded multiple administrations. There’s some damaging info, probably on them.
Mike Papantonio: Why do, why do we get a report on the Khashoggi death, one person dies, but we don’t get a report on 3000 Americans being murdered by the frigging Royal family from Saudi Arabia. We can’t get a report on that.