A Congressional investigation found that many leading baby food brands contain high levels of inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury at levels far in excess of those considered by regulators to be safe.
Internal company documents reveal that top baby food makers knowingly sell baby food containing toxic heavy metals including inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury at levels that exceed federal safety limits by hundreds of times, according to Congressional investigators who released their report on Feb. 4.
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization have declared them dangerous to human health, particularly to babies and children, who are most vulnerable to their neurotoxic effects. Even low levels of exposure can cause serious and often irreversible damage to brain development.”
Internal testing by Gerber, Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, Nurture, Inc., which sells Happy Baby products, and Hain Celestial Group, Inc., which sells Earth’s Best Organic baby food, showed levels of heavy metals far above limits set for bottled water by the FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Baby food ingredients in certain products contained up to 91 times the arsenic level, up to 177 times for lead, 69 times for cadmium, and 5 times the mercury levels allowed in bottled water. The companies still approved those products for sale.
Hain Celestial baby food which claims to be organic had similar levels of toxic metals, blamed the FDA saying the agency approved its manufacturing and testing practices.
Linda McCauley, dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University, who studies environmental health effects, told the New York Times, “No level of exposure to these metals has been shown to be safe in vulnerable infants.”
The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and Committee on Oversight and Reform, which conducted the investigation,