Health Care

Two-thirds of United States baby food tested positive for arsenic, unsafe toxins

Two-thirds of United States baby food tested positive for arsenic, unsafe toxins

Sixty percent of the formulas that claimed to be BPA free tested positive for BPAs.

Experts say exposure to arsenic can affect motor skills, cognition, growth and organ development.

Five-hundred baby food products were tested.

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Of the baby products tested, 65 percent contained arsenic, 36 percent contained lead, 58 percent contained cadmium and 10 percent contained acrylamides. While most samples contained only trace amounts of the toxins, some exceeded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations by up to six times.

A pediatrician and toxicologist at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, who is not affiliated with the study, told USA Today the chemicals can pose potential dangers to developing infants.

According to the study, the products that scored the worst included popular baby brands Enfamil, Gerber, Plum Organics and Sprout. In fact, arsenic has been labeled as one of the ten most harmful chemicals to public health. The highest levels of arsenic have been detected from rice-based baby foods.

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"It is important for consumers to understand that some contaminants, such as heavy metals like lead or arsenic, are in the environment and can not simply be removed from food", Peter Cassell, a FDA spokesperson. It might be frightening to read that "nearly 80% of baby formula samples tested positive for arsenic", but without knowing the levels of arsenic, it is impossible to determine if the amount in baby formula is unsafe.

The Clean Label Project posted and graded the products on its website but did not publish its findings in a peer-reviewed journal.

The executive of Clean Label Project, Jaclyn Bowen, expressed serious concerns over the matter, saying "The baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America's most vulnerable population". Bowen said that she is expecting parents to become good counsellor in taking care of children's health and refine the baby's food business.

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