FDA Finds Chromium in Lead-Contaminated Baby Food Applesauce

FDA Finds Chromium in Lead-Contaminated Baby Food Applesauce

Food safety is of paramount concern for parents of infants, which is understandable considering how vulnerable babies’ systems are to toxins like heavy metals. Recently, parents were left reeling after hundreds of children across the U.S. developed lead poisoning from WanaBana cinnamon apple sauce. While evaluating these products, the FDA found evidence of another metal, chromium. In addition to the harmful short-term effects of heavy metal poisoning, there are growing concerns that repeated exposure to toxins may cause children to develop conditions like autism.  

As the scientific community continues to study the possible implications of this contamination, many parents have been motivated to file baby food lawsuits to hold manufacturers accountable and recover compensation for damages like medical bills and lost wages. The toxic baby food attorneys of Lawsuit Legal News are proud to serve as knowledgeable and adept negotiators for families seeking fair settlements in these claims. We encourage you to call our team at (866) 535-9515 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our capable product liability lawyers. 

Additional FDA Testing Reveals Chromium in Recalled WanaBana Applesauce Tainted With Lead

When a product like baby food is found to be contaminated, the FDA will investigate to determine the extent of the problem. This involves identifying how many individuals were exposed, how the contamination occurred, whether the issue is an isolated event or an ongoing crisis, and how serious the resulting injuries are. The evidence the agency uncovers may support the allegations made by plaintiffs in toxic baby food lawsuits, which blame manufacturers for failing to set and maintain safe standards for levels of certain metals in baby food. 

WanaBana’s cinnamon applesauce was first flagged for contamination in the fall of 2023 after children who consumed the product presented with signs of lead poisoning. It was promptly recalled, and the FDA launched its investigation. The agency traced the lead back to a contaminated supply of cinnamon being used by a producer in Ecuador. In addition to its original findings, which included lead levels thousands of times above the recommended amount for infants, the FDA has now uncovered the supply was also tainted with fellow metal chromium.  

The news of this chromium contamination comes in the broader context of increased scrutiny of safety standards for baby foods, including formula. In 2021, the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy published a hefty report that warned several major baby food brands had been selling products containing toxins including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. In certain quantities, these heavy metals are known to interfere with brain development in babies.

FDA Struggles to Identify Which Kind of Chromium Was Detected in Baby Food

Chromium is a naturally occurring metal that is most commonly used to coat other metals to make them durable. Unfortunately, FDA testing was not able to differentiate between two key types of chromium, which would inform a decision about how dangerous this most recent contamination is to infants. In one form, chromium-3 is thought to be a necessary component in the metabolic processes associated with sugar and insulin production.

Chromium-3 is found in a wide variety of foods, and would not be considered problematic if it were identified at reasonable levels in WanaBana’s applesauce. The beneficial chromium-3 is distinct from chromium-6, which is known to cause cancer in humans. The numbers following the metal’s name denote two different oxidation states. When it is consumed, chromium can oscillate between these states as it gains or loses electrons through various chemical processes, further complicating the FDA’s attempts to pinpoint which type was present in the samples of the cinnamon applesauce.

FDA researchers and other experts are urging caution because they believe the applesauce pouches’ previous contamination with lead may indicate that we are dealing with chromium-6. Chromium-6, rather than chromium-3, is often found in combination with lead and oxygen in the same proportions researchers observed in WanaBana’s recalled cinnamon applesauce. When these three elements form a bond, they become lead chromate, which is also hazardous to humans.

What Does Chromium Exposure Mean for the Babies Who Ingested Contaminated WanaBana Cinnamon Applesauce

At this point, it is difficult to know what the long-term consequences of chromium exposure will be for the babies who ate WanaBana cinnamon applesauce, as we do not have confirmation on which type of chromium was found in these products. We do know that these children are at severe risk for illness related to lead exposure but the effects of chromium poisoning are less clear. It is unlikely that a single serving of the contaminated applesauce would be sufficient to induce permanent damage, but toxins are capable of accumulating quickly and overwhelming an infant’s system.

Unfortunately, chromium contamination is somewhat of an enigma, though what we do know suggests it can profoundly impact the human body. Environmental and occupational exposure to chromium-6 has been linked to a range of adverse health outcomes, including digestive issues, kidney and liver problems, and multiple types of cancer. Regulators and federal agencies like the CDC emphasize that food contaminated with chromium-6 is a potential health risk, but lead is a well-known threat, especially for young children.

Parents should monitor their children carefully if they have consumed any of the recalled applesauce products and contact their pediatrician immediately if their infant shows signs of lead poisoning. The FDA’s discovery of chromium in WanaBana cinnamon applesauce pouches reinforces the need for ingredient transparency among manufacturers, clear FDA standards for metal levels in food, and greater accountability for negligent baby food manufacturers

Contact a Toxic Baby Food Attorney at LLN For Help With Your Product Liability Lawsuit

Many parents who purchased WanaBana’s applesauce pouches for their young children are feeling understandably unnerved and violated by manufacturers' lack of regard for the safety of their products. Families are also facing financial hardship and emotional distress as they seek medical treatment for their infants. Our personal injury attorneys at LLN are working tirelessly to help rectify this situation by vocally advocating for these damages to be compensated. 

We have championed families in numerous product liability lawsuits, like the Tylenol autism claims, where young children were left to shoulder the burden of a major brand’s carelessness. Let our experienced team of toxic baby food lawyers take the lead in navigating the personal injury claims process so that you can keep your focus where it belongs on your child’s health. 

Reach out to our team today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at (866) 535-9515 or filling out our online contact form. Our product liability attorneys are equipped to handle every aspect of your case, from the administrative paperwork to evidence gathering to negotiating with powerful defendants to secure the maximum compensation possible for your damages.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More

Latest News