California Sues Over Dangerous Levels of Lead in Toddler Formula

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that he issued two cease and desist letters and has filed suit against two businesses that make and sell toddler formula, Nutraceutical Corp. and Graceleigh Inc., due to the discovery of dangerously elevated levels of lead in their toddler formulas. Testing conducted by the California Department of Justice on two products – Peaceful Planet Toddler Supreme and Sammy’s Milk Free-Range Goat Milk Toddler Formula – revealed that these formulas cause lead exposure between 13 and 15 times the maximum allowable dose level under California law without an adequate Proposition 65 warning. Both formulas exceed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Provisional Total Tolerable Intake daily levels for children under six. In the lawsuit, Attorney General Becerra alleges that the two companies have violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Proposition 65, t he state law that requires clear and reasonable warnings prior to exposing individuals to harmful chemicals. Attorney General Becerra is joined in filing this lawsuit by the District Attorneys of 10 California counties.

“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 California Attorney General 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 lawsuit alleges that both Peaceful Planet Toddler Supreme and Sammy’s Milk Free-Range Goat Milk Toddler Formula are adulterated and should not be sold in California because they expose toddlers to lead in amounts that exceed the FDA’s Provisional Total Tolerable Intake Level for children. Sales of these two products therefore constitute an unfair business practice under California’s Unfair Competition Law. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the two products cause exposures that exceed the threshold warning levels for lead under Proposition 65 and that the companies failed to adequately warn consumers that these products would expose their children to lead. Proposition 65, approved by California voters in 1986, protects public health by requiring businesses to adequately warn consumers if they expose them to toxic chemicals, including lead. The Attorney General is the only public official with statewide authority to enforce Proposition 65.

Late last week, Attorney General Becerra sent cease and desist letters to Nutraceutical Corp. and Graceleigh Inc. In response, both companies have voluntarily agreed to stop selling these contaminated products in California. Any parent who already has either toddler formula — Peaceful Planet Toddler Supreme and Sammy’s Milk Free-Range Goat Milk Toddler Formula — in the home should take precaution.

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