Maryland House Bill 97, also known as “Rudy’s Law,” named after a Maryland child who was recently sickened by cinnamon fruit puree pouches contaminated with lead, would require baby food manufacturers to test products for toxic heavy metals and make the results available to consumers.

A similar piece of legislation was passed in California in October 2023. The Maryland bill was introduced by Representative Deni Taveras (D-46B) and is cosponsored by Cheryl E. Pasteur (D-11A).

Specifically, Rudy’s Law would require manufacturers of baby food to conduct certain testing on baby food for toxic heavy metals before packaging individual units of baby food for sale or distribution in Maryland, beginning January 1, 2025. Then, effective January 1, 2026, the law would require manufacturers of baby food to disclose on their websites certain information related to the testing, alongside a link to guidance and information, including test results or a certain code on the baby food product label.

The introduction of Rudy’s Law shortly follows a national outbreak of lead poisoning among babies and young children, of which Rudy was a victim, caused by lead-contaminated applesauce packages containing intentionally adulterated cinnamon.