County of Marin - News Releases - Toddler Formula Lawsuit

For Immediate Release
June 07, 2018

Marin Joins Lawsuit Against Toddler Formula Firms

State attorney general and 10 DAs contend products had high lead levels

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County District Attorney’s Office has joined with the California Attorney General's Office to investigate and co-prosecute manufacturers of toddler formulas that contain excess levels of lead as set by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced June 7 that he is filing suit against two businesses that sell toddler formula, Graceleigh and Nutraceutical Corp, because of the discovery of dangerously elevated levels of lead in their toddler formula. 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 those formulas cause lead exposure between 13 and 15 times the maximum allowable dose level under California law. Both formulas exceed the FDA provisional daily intake levels for children under age 6.

On June 1, Becerra sent cease and desist letters to Graceleigh and Nutraceutical. Both companies have voluntarily agreed to stop selling the contaminated products in California.

The Marin County District Attorney’s Office is a member of the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force. Marin joined the lawsuit along with the counties of Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Alameda, Shasta, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Orange, and Santa Clara.

“We are committed to taking all measures necessary to protect the most vulnerable members of society especially where the harm comes in the form of purportedly safe food alternatives or nutritional supplements vital for growth and early childhood development,” District Attorney Ed Berberian said.

In the lawsuit, Becerra alleges that the manufacturers violated California’s Unfair Competition Law and Proposition 65, the state law that requires warnings prior to exposing individuals to harmful chemicals.

“This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Becerra said. “Baby 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.”

According to the lawsuit, sales of the two products 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 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.


Ed Berberian
District Attorney
County of Marin

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6450


Email: Ed Berberian