Ingredient in many baby foods, including some organic foods are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels far higher than those allowed in products like bottled water congressional investigators reported. Their report underscored the federal government’s lax approach to overseeing the safety of baby food despite the risks to infants and toddlers. Exposure to these heavy metals has been linked to behavioral impairments, brain damage and even death.
The director of the program on reproductive health and the environment for UC San Francisco says “This is an epidemic problem that’s been swept under the rug and never addressed.” She went on to say “It speaks to the many areas that we need government to be active in. Consumers can’t figure it out on their own.” The report reserved their harshest criticism for Walmart, Sprouts and Campbell brand baby foods who failed to provide information on their methods and the results of those tests.
Representatives of Walmart and Campbell Soup disputed the characterization saying they responded to requests for information although they acknowledge they did not provide testing data. Sprout did not bother to respond to a request for comment. The FDA does not set limits on heavy metals specifically for baby foods except for arsenic in rice cereal. The agency does regulate lead in bottled water, juice and candy and limits arsenic and cadmium in bottled water as well.
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