80 percent of baby food contains unsafe chemicals

Ray Weaver
October 28, 2017

Two-thirds of baby food in the United States has tested positive for arsenic and other risky toxins, according to a new study.

The advocacy group conducted the research for five months with samples from more than 500 infant formulas and baby food products from 60 brands. It might be frightening to read that "nearly 80% of baby formula samples tested positive for arsenic", but without knowing the levels of arsenic, it is impossible to determine if the amount in baby formula is unsafe.

Two-thirds of baby food in the United States tested positive for arsenic and other unsafe toxins, a study claims. All we know at this point is that some products tested positive for the above-mentioned chemicals. These products are branded including Gerber, Enfamil, Plum Organics and Sprout.

The study also found more than half of the products tested also contained cadmium, a metal found in batteries. "Baby food and formula on the market by well-respected companies have a history of being both safe and nourishing". The World Health Organization states that arsenic can lead to developmental defects, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurotoxicity and cancer.

MORE | More information on the study can be found here. The harmful chemical compounds present in these products were tested by the Clean Label Project. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic in infant rice cereal, but not enforcing that limit. Rice often absorbs arsenic from contaminated soil as it grows in the environment.

Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a pediatrician and toxicologist and the head the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Environmental Health, told What to Expect that she really couldn't comment on the results of this study because she hasn't seen the data: "Parents are going to freak out".

"It is important for consumers to understand that some contaminants, such as heavy metals like lead or arsenic, are in the environment and can not simply be removed from food", Peter Cassell, a FDA spokesperson.

"The baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America's most vulnerable population", Bowen said.

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