SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A Newport Beach company is facing legal action for allegedly manufacturing and marketing baby formulas with dangerously elevated levels of lead.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed the lawsuit and was joined by prosecutors with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) along with ten other California district attorneys’ offices.
“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. No parent should have to worry that the formula they purchase could endanger their child,” said Becerra. “The levels of lead we found in these formulas are not acceptable – not in California, not anywhere. The legal action we take today puts all manufacturers on notice: the California Department of Justice will hold you accountable for gambling with our children’s health.”
The civil lawsuit filed Thursday against Graceleigh Inc. and Park City, Utah-based Nutraceutical Corporation mentioned their toddler formula products, Sammy’s Milk Free-Range Goat Milk Toddler Formula (Sammy’s Milk) and Peaceful Planet Toddler Supreme (Peaceful Planet), respectively.
The action filed in Alameda County Superior Court says testing of the products revealed these formulas exceed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provisional daily intake levels for children under six, and cause lead exposures between 13 and 15 times the maximum allowable dose level under California law.
Statements on the Sammy’s Milk website say the product is “selected for purity” and “clean nutrition”, which prosecutors say are untrue or misleading.
“When parents give their toddlers formula, they need to have peace of mind that the product they are giving them is safe and free of lead,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. “In fact, these formulas were targeted for sale to the most health conscious parents. By continuing to protect food safety, we hope to keep our citizens, especially vulnerable children, safe.”
Prosecutors are hoping to permanently enjoin Graceleigh and Nutraceutical from continuing what they say are “unlawful, unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices”.
There was no immediate reaction from either Graceleigh or Nutraceutical.