Consumers Sue Gerber Over Good Start Claims

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Los Angeles, CAConsumers who filed a lawsuit against Gerber over claims it made in marketing its Good Start baby formula were handed a small victory when the judge in the suit tentatively certified the lawsuit as a class action. The Gerber Good Start lawsuit alleges consumers were misled into buying the baby formula by false claims made in the company’s marketing of the product. Gerber also faces a different lawsuit alleging the company violated the Unlawful Trade Practices Act in its marketing of Gerber Graduate Puffs.

The Gerber Graduate Puffs lawsuit was filed by Nancy Henry, who alleges Gerber Peach Puffs have less than two percent peach juice concentrate. The lawsuit further alleges Gerber Graduate Puffs use names and images of bananas and sweet potatoes but only actually contain apple puree.

Gerber filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit saying its ingredient list is accurate. Johanna R. Savalli has also filed a similar lawsuit.

Gerber has faced regulatory action for how it has marketed its products. In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent Gerber a warning letter concerning its marketing of Gerber Good Start Gentle Infant Formula. That letter stated Gerber was in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by misbranding its baby formula. In its letter, the FDA noted that it had previously considered and denied Gerber’s petition requesting authorization to make a qualified health claim that 100 percent partially hydrolyzed whey protein in infant formula reduced allergy risk in infants.

“After reviewing the petition, the scientific evidence submitted with the petition, and other pertinent scientific evidence and information, FDA concluded that there is no credible evidence to support a qualified health claim relating the consumption of 100 percent whey protein partially hydrolyzed to a reduced risk of food allergy in infants,” the FDA wrote. “We are aware of no such credible evidence that has been developed since the time the petition was denied…”

Despite having its application to make a qualified health claim denied, Gerber marketed its Good Start Gentle Infant Formula as reducing the risk of atopic dermatitis throughout the first year of an infant’s life, which parents say led them to choose Gerber Good Start over other brands of infant formula. According to the FDA’s letter, claims about 100 percent partially hydrolyzed whey protein appear both on the product label and on the product website. Furthermore, the FDA took issue with Gerber making a qualified health claim without noting the need for physician consultation in cases where infants are allergic or suspected to be allergic to milk.

The FDA closed its warning letter by noting that Gerber’s failure to correct the violations could result in legal action including seizure or injunction.

As a result of the alleged false marketing, Oula Zakaria filed a lawsuit against Gerber, alleging the company illegally marketed its baby formula by using false health claims. In January, a California federal judge tentatively awarded the lawsuit class-action status. The judge did rule that Gerber could submit evidence of the various packagings used on its products.

The Gerber Good Start lawsuit is Zakaria vs. Gerber Products Co., case number 2:15-cv-61554, in the US District Court, Central District of California.

Gerber Good Start Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a consumer frauds lawyer who may evaluate your Gerber Good Start Consumer Fraud Lawsuit claim at no cost or obligation.

Reader Comments

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on
I purchased Gerber good start for my baby starting in May 2013. He had several allergies and eczema. We went to see an allergist in 2015.

Posted by

on
Very true I chose Gerber gentle in hopes of preventing my baby eczema like 1 of my other kids. it did not help. was not gentle on my baby tummy .had to switch to soy ..it did say whey would help skin. defently would have not purchased it. if it dint say it would help my baby skin among other things..but did not do what promised .. threw over 16 cans out nobody wanted them couldn't return it.

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