Articles Tagged with arsenic

baby-2423896_1920-1-300x200Beech-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.

baby-food-1-300x300Baby food has been facing some much-needed scrutiny lately. A recently released Congressional report disclosed that many top baby foods, both organic and non-organic, are contaminated with dangerous levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. This is especially concerning since both the World Health Organization and the FDA have concluded that these heavy metals pose a danger to human health, and to babies and children in particular.

The findings are the result of a year-long investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform into heavy metals in baby food. Launched after a 2019 study by Healthy Babies Bright Futures found toxic metals in 95% of the baby food they tested, the Congressional investigation asked top baby food companies to voluntarily produce information about their testing policies and test results. Four companies responded to this request: Gerber, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Nurture. The Hain products are labeled as ‘Earth’s Best Organic’ and the Nurture products are labeled as ‘HappyBABY’. Three other companies—Walmart, Sprout Organic, and Campbell–did not cooperate, according to the Congressional report.

The responses to the Congressional inquiry revealed a major problem: all of the companies had used ingredients containing heavy metals in their baby food. Not only that, but the companies had routinely ignored their own standards for toxic metals, continuing to sell tainted baby food to families. And most of the companies had failed to test their finished baby food products for toxic metals, despite an industry admission that testing only the ingredients might underestimate the amount of heavy metals in the finished product. Below are the some of the results included in the Congressional report. (Keep in mind that these numbers are from the companies’ own test results, not results from an independent lab.)

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