A class action lawsuit was filed against Before BrandsTM — the makers of SpoonfulONETM — in US District Court for Northern California on October 27, 2022.
SpoonfulONE is a member of a relatively new class of nutraceuticals that are intended to introduce common allergens to babies early in life. Studies have shown that when certain allergenic foods are fed to infants early, they are less likely to develop allergies to them later on in childhood. Much of the science behind this practice was developed during the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015, which determined that early introduction of peanuts could lower the incidence of peanut allergy by more than 80%.
The lawsuit alleges that:
SpoonfulONE’s representations are not only false, deceptive, and misleading, but extraordinarily dangerous, giving parents a false sense of security that their children are obtaining enough allergenic proteins to promote oral tolerance to food allergens.
The claim stems from two specific allegations made in the court docket:
(1) “SpoonfulONE Products do not contain the 30mg of allergenic peanut, milk, and egg protein as advertised.”
(2) “…even if they did, according to peer-reviewed studies, 30mg is an insufficient amount to introduce or promote oral tolerance of food allergens, as represented by SpoonfulONE.”
The LEAP study found that six grams of allergenic peanut protein per week into an infant’s diet prior to 11 months of age reduced the prevalence of peanut allergies by approximately 70-80%.” The suit claims that SpoonfulONE markets their products as containing “precisely 30mg of almond, cashew, cod, egg, hazelnut, milk, oat, peanut, pecan, pistachio, salmon, sesame, shrimp, soy, walnut, and wheat protein.” They assert the products do not contain a sufficient dose of allergens as recommended by the relevant studies.
The suit goes on to state:
SpoonfulONE’s fraudulent marketing and sale of the SpoonfulONE Products to consumers evokes the colorful imagery of the “snake oil salesman,” peddling tonics and elixirs that promise the moon, but in reality, offer no tangible benefit to those who purchase them. As a result of SpoonfulONE’s false, deceptive, and misleading marketing and advertising of its Products, consumers, including Plaintiffs, have been damaged by unknowingly purchasing worthless products. Even worse, they may have missed the short window to prevent their child from developing a lifelong food allergy.
We have reached out to Before Brands for comment and will report back should they respond.
- Docket Case 3:22-cv-06577-AGT — US District Court
- Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy — New England Journal of Medicine