Beech-Nut Nutrition is voluntarily recalling an infant rice cereal due to high levels of arsenic. The cereal impacted is the Single Grain Rice baby cereal with an expiration date of May 1, 2022. The reason for the recall is that the cereal exceeds the FDA’s limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic.
In addition, the company announced that it will no longer market Single Grain Rice Baby Cereal, citing their commitment to infant safety and doubt about being able to consistently obtain rice flour below the FDA guidance level for inorganic arsenic as reasons for the decision. This is good news for parents who have been concerned about the recent reports of toxic heavy metals–including arsenic–in the baby food they feed their infants, but it is not enough. It’s critical that the other major baby food companies make the health and safety of children a priority as well.
The scrutiny of heavy metals in baby food is long overdue. Last year, a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, which had been investigating the presence of arsenic and other toxic metals in baby food, issued their final report. The report revealed that all of the major companies that responded to the agency’s request for internal testing documentation had arsenic in their baby food. Beech-Nut was not the only company with this problem; Gerber, Hain, and Nurture also had the same issue. Three other baby food companies—Walmart, Sprout Organic, and Campbell’s–did not cooperate with the investigation.
This is a reason for serious alarm due to the health dangers posed by arsenic exposure.
Arsenic can harm an infant’s neurodevelopment according to multiple studies. Because of their small size, children are especially vulnerable to the effects of arsenic and even low levels can cause serious and potentially permanent damage to brain development. Studies have shown that arsenic exposure over time can lead to:
- Growth problems
- Lower IQ
- Impaired brain development
- An unhealthy immune system
- Cancer as an adult
In addition, some studies have shown a link between arsenic exposure and a higher risk of developing autism.
If you have Beech-Nut Single Grain Rice Cereal in your pantry, we suggest you throw it out and feed your baby infant cereal that is not rice-based instead. If you have been feeding your baby Beech-Nut’s rice cereal or another brand of rice cereal and your baby has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or neurodevelopmental issues, please contact the environmental and product liability lawyers at The Collins Law Firm for a FREE consultation as soon as possible. Call us at (630) 569-9028 or fill out our contact form and let us help you determine if you have a claim.
The Collins Law Firm is a nationally recognized environmental firm fighting for people injured by contaminated water, air, or exposure to toxic metals or chemicals. We have been honored to represent hundreds of families and individuals, recovering millions in damages and access to clean water for our clients.