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Baby Food Tainted with "Significant Levels" of Toxic Heavy Metals: Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, and Mercury

February 11, 2021

THE UNITED STATES: According to CBSNEWS.COM, a new federal government report announces the discovery of toxic heavy metals in popular baby foods. The alarming new government report states that the federal government has found baby food manufactured by many of the country's biggest baby manufacturers to be "tainted" with"significant levels" of toxic heavy metals. The substances discovered included arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. These heavy metals are the most toxic metals to humans and can be deadly to infants and toddlers. These metals also can lead to brain development issues.

A new congressional subcommittee investigation has expressed significant concerns over the presence of toxic heavy metals in certain baby food products. According to the report, certain baby food products are "tainted with dangerous levels" of poisonous heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

Medical researchers state that the developing brains of infants, babies, and small children are "uniquely vulnerable" to heavy metals and toxic chemicals, which are linked with diseases, permanent brain injuries, lowered IQ, problems in school, and criminal behavior as an adult. 

Illinois Democratic Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi explained to CBS News that removing heavy metals from baby food products is critical. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi stated that he was not aware of any father or mother who wants "neurotoxins in their babies' foods."

Federal investigators have asked seven United States manufacturers of baby food to produce internal records and internal test results. Four manufacturers responded, and all of the samples and data showed the presence of arsenic, cadmium, and lead in the manufacturers' own test results. The levels detailed in some reports were higher than the maximum levels allowable for other products.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the report showed that the bottled water results were:

  • "up to 91 times the arsenic level," 
  • "up to 69 times the cadmium level," and 
  • "up to 177 times the lead level."

According to CBS News, the news service asked those manufacturers for a comment, and each manufacturer stated that they are "committed to safety."

James Dickerson with Consumer Reports stated that there might not be "too much cause for alarm, since these heavy metals are naturally occurring." He also stated that parents could not eliminate the risk completely, but the idea is to reduce the exposure.

Mr. Dickerson suggests that parents limit the amount of rice and sweet potato products they feed to their babies and small children as these foods usually absorb more heavy metals and pollutants due to the way they are grown and other environmental factors. Mr. Dickerson also advises avoiding snacks like puffs and crackers, which had higher levels of heavy metals in the Consumer Reports' study.  

The baby food manufacturers that responded to the federal government stated that they comply with government standards, have their own internal testing standards, or both. Some baby food manufacturers reported that they are members of the Baby Food Council. The Baby Food Council is an organization established with the mission to reducing heavy metals in baby foods.

The baby food contamination issue is not new. Consumer Reports conducted its own test of 50 national baby food products back in 2018. The test discovered "three heavy metals in every product" and "every product had measurable levels of at least one" heavy metal. Also, 68% "had worrisome levels of at least one heavy metal."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been informed of the new report provided by the Subcommittee in Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Oversight and Reform at the U.S House of Representatives, and the FDA is reviewing the report's findings.  

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Category: Personal Injury

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