Study Shows Most Baby Foods Contain Toxic Heavy Metals
Deciding what to feed their children is something that most parents spend a great deal of time researching. We check labels for nutritional information, consult with doctors, and get advice from other parents. But all of that research is fruitless if dangerous and unlabeled substances find their way into products. This appears to be the case with the vast majority of baby food, as a new report reveals that as much as 95% of tested baby foods contain toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury.
The report was compiled by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, a collective of non-profits, scientists, and donors with the goal of reducing babies’ exposures to toxic chemicals. The group tested 168 containers of popular baby food brands such as Gerber, Enfamil, and Parent’s Choice, and found 95% of the products tested contained one or more toxic metal that can pose a serious risk to the mental development of children.
Lead, mercury, and other heavy metals are known as neurotoxic substances and can cause serious and irreparable harm to the nervous system. Even trace amounts found in food can alter and impede a child’s developing brain, negatively affecting their intelligence and personality.
Testing shows that rice products, including cereals and rice-based snacks, contained the highest risk for heavy metal exposure. Teething biscuits, fruit juice, and vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes also tested highly. The study’s authors recommend taking steps to limit exposure, such as reducing the amount of rice and juice given to infants and toddlers and adding a variety of other fruits and vegetables to their diet.
Shortly after the report was published, countless concerned parents took to social media to voice their concern and outrage. Many questioned how regulators like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could have missed contamination on this scale. The unfortunate answer is that the FDA has not issued guidance or set standards for the maximum safe limit of heavy metals.
“Fresh research continues to confirm widespread exposures and troubling risks for babies, including cancer and lifelong deficits in intelligence from exposures to these common food contaminants,” the report states. “Despite the risks, with few exceptions there are no specific limits for toxic heavy metals in baby food.”
In light of the study’s findings, Senator Chuck Schumer urged the FDA to take more action to regulate the baby food industry and called for a federal probe of contaminated baby food.
The FDA must investigate the new report detailing the presence of toxic metals in a wide variety of baby foods.
We need new regulations to force the industry to address exposures and alleviate concerns for the health of our youngest Americans.https://t.co/4Ro1yKOiSs
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 21, 2019
In response, the FDA reaffirmed their commitment to working with industry stakeholders to continue to reduce exposure to these elements, and recommended parents feed their babies and children “an age appropriate, varied, well balanced diet for nutrition and food safety.”
Wexler Wallace takes cases of food contamination seriously. If you or a loved one have been harmed by contaminated food or beverages, contact us to discuss your potential legal options.