A congressional investigation has concluded that a number of leading baby food manufacturers knowingly produced food with high levels of toxic heavy metals. Four companies responded to the congressional subcommittee’s request to provide internal documentation about their ingredients and testing policies.
The four companies that provided documents include Nurture, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Gerber>>>P. According to official files, the subcommittee believes that the brands that refused to provide information may be trying to cover up for the levels of toxins present in their products.
This particular investigation found that many baby foods were tainted with high levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. These metals are listed as some of the most harmful chemicals to children as per the World Health Organization>>>P. It is important to note that, as CNN reported>>>P, since these metals are natural elements they are found in soil that some crops are harvested in, therefore making them unavoidable in foods to a certain extent. Pesticides that contain metals and pollution are also a reason these elements can be found in foods.
In some cases, the amount of these elements in the products were much greater than what is allowed in other edible products. For example, bottled water is only allowed a maximum of 10 parts per billion of arsenic, according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Results from this investigation determined that some baby foods were being sold with around 91 times the approved arsenic level of bottled water.
A CNN report explained that these toxic metals are specifically problematic for young children as their brains are developing, especially those under the age of two who would be consuming the tested products. The congressional subcommittee is recommending mandatory FDA testing, labeling, voluntary phase-out of toxic ingredients, improved FDA standards, and parental vigilance when choosing baby foods for their children. You can read the full report by the congressional subcommittee here>>>P.