A new study by a watchdog organization is getting a lot of media attention because it found that most baby foods and formulas contain at least trace amounts of contaminates - including lead, arsenic, cadmium and acrylamides - that can be unsafe to children in large doses. Of about 530 products that the researchers tested, 65 percent were found positive for arsenic, 58 percent for cadmium, 36 percent for lead, and 10 percent for acrylamide. Plus, 60% of products claiming to be "BPA free" tested positive for the industrial chemical bisphenol A. The quantities of contaminates range, but some products tested positive for up to 600 parts of arsenic per billion.
Gerber, Organix and Earth's Best were among some of the worst brands, according to the study.
More than a third of the baby food tested have lead. We want to reassure parents that the health and safety of babies is our number one priority, which is why we never compromise on the quality of our formulas and foods for babies and toddlers. The World Health Organization states that arsenic can lead to developmental defects, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurotoxicity and cancer.
The non-profit organization tested top-selling formulas and a number of national brands over five months.
The FDA has recommended a limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic in infant rice cereal, but has not made its recommendation compulsory for manufacturers.
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The study was conducted by Clean Label Project. Several studies have already found traces of the said chemical in rice-based food products.
Arsenic and cadmium are naturally occurring elements found in soil, water and air, so it is not surprising that they are found in food. While no amount of lead is safe, the contaminant is not regulated.
Low levels of lead in children's blood have been connected to lower IQs, slowed growth, behavioral problems, hearing issues and anemia, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
A study by the Clean Label Project has revealed two-thirds of baby food in United States has tested positive for arsenic and other unsafe toxins.