WanaBana Fruit Pouch Lead Poisoning Lawsuit

This page is for parents looking to bring a WanaBana lawsuit on behalf of their child and their family for lead poisoning from this product.

Parents are angry and frustrated and want answers.  This page provides answers for victims wondering what to do and how to seek settlement compensation. Our lawyers also provide the most recent information on the recall and the developments in the litigation, including the bankruptcy which may kill this litigation.

The products in question are:

  • WanaBana’s Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée Pouch
  • Schnucks’ 90g Cinnamon Apple Sauce pouches
  • Weis’ 90g Cinnamon Apple Sauce.

The WanaBana Recall

In October 2023, a significant recall of WanaBana fruit pouches was initiated after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered elevated lead levels in some WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches samples. This recall encompasses all WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée pouches, irrespective of the expiration date.

Following this discovery, the FDA urgently recommended that parents and caregivers immediately cease feeding their children these pouches and safely dispose of any remaining products. Additionally, the FDA strongly suggests consulting a healthcare provider to arrange a blood test for potential lead exposure for toddlers and young children who might have consumed the recalled pouches.

Lead poisoning is a severe health condition that can cause a variety of problems, including developmental delays, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and even death. Lead is a toxic metal that can damage the nervous system, especially in children.

WanaBana Fruit Pouch Lead Poisoning News and Updates

May 29, 2024: WanaBana Bankruptcy

WanaBanna filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Unlike Chapter 11, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a “liquidation” process with no plans for restructuring or repayment. Instead, the company will sell off its assets to pay its debts.

This puts plaintifffs in an awful situation.  We are not taking new cases while we make heads or tails of this.

April 17, 2024:  It Was All About Making More Money

The FDA has determined that some cinnamon used in applesauce products was deliberately altered to increase profits, leading to unsafe levels of lead.

This awfulness, known as economically motivated adulteration, prompted the FDA to issue a safety alert against certain ground cinnamon products that this selfishness put children at risk of brain injury.   The agency has received over 200 complaints about these products, with 90 cases confirmed to involve high blood lead levels.

The FDA plans to step up its monitoring and regulatory activities. This includes more rigorous import checks and spice testing to prevent similar issues. The FDA is also collaborating internationally to set safe limits for lead in cinnamon and other bark spices.

March 26, 2024: Wanabana Seeks to Keep Case in Federal Court

WanaBana LLC and WanaBana USA LLC are contesting a motion to return a lawsuit to state court over claims their cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches contained lead, arguing in federal court that they met all necessary requirements for the case to remain in federal jurisdiction. The dispute centers on the adequacy of evidence for federal removal based on citizenship diversity.

March 11, 2024: Jurisdictional Battles

A family is seeking to move their lawsuit back to Florida state court, arguing that the companies failed to prove a diversity of citizenship necessary for federal jurisdiction.

The lawsuit, initiated in December 2023, accuses WanaBana, as all of these lawsuits do, of selling food that led to their child testing positive for elevated levels of lead.

Despite the companies’ claim of Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican citizenship based on an affidavit from WanaBana USA’s president, the Windhams contend this lacks sufficient proof, such as documentation of domicile.

Of course, WanaBana faces additional lawsuits, including a proposed class action in New York and personal injury lawsuits alleging the product cause brain injuries in Florida and Texas.

March 1, 2024 – Investigation Lays Blame on FDA

A recent investigation takes a good look at the depressing story of how lead-contaminated apple cinnamon fruit pouches made their way to our children. The report, published by The Examination in collaboration with The New York Times on February 27, 2024, uncovers significant regulatory failures within both federal and international safety protocols.

The investigation found that the FDA bears some responsibility.  It did not conduct inspections or tests on the imported cinnamon used in the recalled WanaBana, Weis, and Schnucks apple sauce brands, nor on the final product entering the U.S.

That was not the only problem.  Despite Ecuadorian authorities having the jurisdiction to act upon the discovery of lead contamination, their limited capacity for lead testing contributed to the oversight, allowing the contaminated products to enter and circulate within the U.S. market.The report criticizes the existing regulatory framework for its inability to detect and prevent such incidents, highlighting the need for enhanced authority and capability for the FDA to oversee international supply chains and set stringent safety standards for imported food products. The widespread lead poisoning incident underscores the critical risks posed to children by contaminated food products and calls for immediate legislative and regulatory reforms to safeguard public health.

This is a great plan but little consolation to the children and families who have suffered from these gross oversights.

February 27, 2024 – Another WanaBana Lawsuit

A new Wanabana lead lawsuit was filed in Florida state court in Miami-Dade County. The minor child, S.W., began consuming WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree in July 2023, at approximately 15 months old. The child’s parents had help from S.W.’s paternal grandmother caring for the child during work hours. The grandmother, believing the products to be healthy and nutritious, purchased them from Dollar Tree stores.

In September 2023, as part of a regular childhood lead screening, S.W.’s blood tested positive for elevated lead levels. Further testing showed increasingly elevated lead levels. The family underwent lead testing, but only S.W. showed elevated levels. An investigation by the Florida Health Department Environmental Health Team into the plaintiffs’ home found no environmental source of lead contamination, leading to suspicion of the fruit puree pouches as the source.

The case will likely be successfully removed by the defendants and transferred to federal court.

February 1, 2024 – New WanaBana Lawsuit

The most recently filed WanaBana lawsuit is very typical of how these case go. In August 2023, a North Carolina family discovered their child had high blood lead levels during a routine check-up.  They had no clue why the child would have elevated blood levels. The didn’t make the connection until they heard about the recall.

January 10, 2024 – 87 Events Reported to FDA

The FDA has registered 87 confirmed complaints and adverse event reports potentially connected to a recalled product. The individuals impacted range from infants to 53-year-olds, with a median age of one year. Concurrently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its National Center for Environmental Health, is working with state and local health departments to identify cases. CDC’s criteria for state partners include blood lead levels of 3.5 µg/dL or higher within three months of consuming recalled WanaBana, Schnucks, or Weis brand fruit puree products after November 2022.

As of January 5, the CDC has identified 86 confirmed cases, 209 probable cases, and 26 suspected cases, totaling 321 cases across 38 states. The FDA and CDC use different data sources, so their reported figures are not directly comparable. Moreover, some individuals may be counted in both agencies’ reports. The FDA’s investigation continues to pinpoint the source of contamination and assess if additional products are linked to these illnesses. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

January 9, 2024 – Chromium Discovered

Federal regulators have discovered a significant presence of chromium, alongside previously detected toxic lead, in recalled cinnamon apple sauce pouches across the United States. This finding was part of the FDA’s investigation into these pouches, which have been linked to numerous lead poisoning cases. The FDA’s tests revealed chromium concentrations as high as 1,201 parts per million (ppm) in the fruit puree pouches and the cinnamon used in them. While the exact form of chromium in the products is unclear due to testing limitations, the levels of lead and chromium are consistent with those found in lead chromate.

Chromium, particularly in certain forms, can be harmful to health. In children, exposure to high levels of chromium can pose serious health risks, including:

Developmental Problems: Children are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of heavy metals like chromium. Exposure can lead to developmental delays and cognitive impairments.

Respiratory Issues: Certain forms of chromium can cause respiratory problems when inhaled, although this is less likely with ingestion through food products.

Increased Cancer Risk: Some forms of chromium, especially hexavalent chromium, are known to be carcinogenic. Long-term exposure can increase the risk of developing cancer.

Kidney and Liver Damage: High levels of chromium can cause damage to vital organs such as the kidneys and liver, impacting their ability to function properly.

The presence of high chromium levels in food products meant for children is alarming because of their developing bodies and smaller size, which makes them more susceptible to the adverse effects of toxic substances like chromium. The findings in the cinnamon apple sauce pouches thus represent a significant health concern. Parents are understandably losing their minds over these toxic heavy metals in their children’s food.  We must get to the bottom of this.

December 26, 2023 – New Nationwide Class Action Lawsuit

WanaBana has been hit with a nationwide class action lawsuit following the recall of cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches containing high lead levels. Initiated by a New York woman, this WanaBana lawsuit addresses concerns over lead in the product.

The suit, which encompasses a nationwide class and a New York subclass, seeks monetary compensation and a health monitoring program. This action follows 69 reports received by the FDA of elevated blood lead levels in children under six, potentially linked to the recalled WanaBana products.

December 19, 2023 – Two-Thousand Times the Safe Limit?

Yesterday, the FDA announced that a sample of cinnamon used as an ingredient in the recalled WanaBana fruit puree was tested and found to contain more than 2,000 times- 2,000 times! – the maximum safe limits for lead.

December 18, 2023 – FDA Inspection in Ecuador

FDA concluded an on-site inspection today at the Austrofood facility in Ecuador, where the products in question were produced. FDA investigators gathered samples of the cinnamon supplied by Negasmart to the Defendants. These samples were tested and found to contain extremely high levels of lead contamination.

December 11, 2023 – New WanaBana Lawsuit

A family in North Carolina took their one year old to a routine check and found child’s blood lead level was 20 mcg/dL, significantly higher than the normal level of less than 3.5 mcg/dL.

The family was perplexed.  The county conducted multiple investigations at the family’s home, examining water, soil, air, clothing, paint, and vehicles to identify the lead source. They even tested the grandparent’s home. Nothing.

Then the FDA issued an alert for WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches, which the family had frequently given to their daughter. Shortly after, they initiated a lawsuit against WanaBana.

December 5, 2023 – How Did WanaBana Get Lead in Its Product?

The suspected source of contamination continues to be the tainted cinnamon originating from Ecuador, prompting the FDA to work with Ecuadorian authorities as part of its ongoing investigation.

The FDA screws some things up sometimes for sure.  But it seems to be doing work in this case so far.

November 30, 2023 – Ecuadorian Connection?

WamaBama and Austrofood, the manufacturer of WanaBana in Ecuador,  issued a statement that WanaBana had conducted an investigation to identify the root cause of the problem, and the primary suspicion was directed towards cinnamon provided by Negocios Asociados Mayoristas, an Ecuadorian third-party distributor, as the culprit for the high lead levels in the recalled products.

November 24, 2023 – Fifty-Two Identified

The Food and Drug Administration said that the number of illnesses potentially linked to the recalled apple/cinnamon pouches has increased to 52, and those harmed are between the ages of 1 and 4.

The agency also said it continues reviewing cases as they come in. The FDA warns consumers that one recalled product, WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Purée, has been found on shelves at several Dollar Tree stores in the U.S.

The FDA said it is working with the retailer to get the recalled products removed. The original article and subsequent updates appear below.

November 17, 2023 – More Illnesses Associated with WanaBana

The FDA now says there are at least 34 illnesses potentially linked to the recalled apple/cinnamon pouches, and that its testing found lead levels 200 times greater than what the FDA would consider acceptable in a sample pouch of WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée from a Dollar Tree store.

Contaminated cinnamon from Ecuador is the likely culprit, and the agency said it’s working with authorities there as part of its investigation. While the FDA says it doesn’t have any indication that the issue extends beyond the recalled products, it is also screening shipments of cinnamon from multiple countries for lead contamination as a safety measure.

The FDA also reminded parents that sample tests of fruit purée pouches from WanaBana, Weis, and Schnucks that did not contain cinnamon and were not recalled from the companies had not been shown to have elevated lead levels.

wanabana lawsuit

November 14, 2023 Twenty-Two and Counting

The FDA says there are now 22 illnesses potentially linked to the recalled WanaBana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée Pouches. No illnesses have yet been linked to the recalled products from Schnucks (recalled lot codes: 05023:19, 09023:22, and 09023:24) or Weis (lot code 05023:28), according to the FDA’s announcement.

November 6, 2023 – FDA Recall

The Food and Drug Administration said two additional cinnamon-applesauce products have been recalled because of very high lead levels: certain Schnucks cinnamon-flavored applesauce pouches and variety packs sold at stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri and certain cinnamon-applesauce pouches sold under the Weis supermarket brand name.

WanaBana Poisoning Lawsuit

Anyone who suffered lead poisoning as a result of consuming contaminated WanaBana products can bring a product liability lawsuit and get financial compensation. Product manufacturers can be held strictly liable for these types of contaminations to have clear liability. There is no WanaBana class action lawsuit or MDL for personal injury claims – at least not yet –  but individual consumers can still bring civil lawsuits.

How to Get Your Child Tested for WanaBana Food Poisoning

The first step to filing a WanaBana lead poisoning lawsuit is to get your child tested for lead.

To get your child tested for lead levels, you should start by talking to your pediatrician. They can conduct a simple blood test to measure lead levels. This is particularly important if your child has been exposed to potential sources of lead or is showing symptoms of lead poisoning. In some cases, local health departments also offer lead testing.

Detecting lead exposure early is crucial – not just for a WanaBana lawsuit but for your child’s health.  Your doctor can guide you on the appropriate steps based on the test results, giving our lawyers the ammunition we need to bring a lawsuit.

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