Arsenic, Lead, Toxic Metals Exist In Some Baby Food Including Gerber, Walmart, Beech-Nut Brands – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

(CBSDFW.COM) – A recently published congress report shows that ingredients in many baby foods contain dangerously high levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and cadmium. The report, released on February 4th by a House subcommittee led by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, indicates levels in excess of legal limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have declared toxic heavy metals dangerous to human health, especially babies and children, who are most susceptible to their neurotoxic effects. Even low levels of exposure can seriously and often irreversibly damage brain development.

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According to the report, these companies are among the largest baby food manufacturers in the United States:

  • Nurture, Inc. (Nurture), which sells Happy Family Organics, including baby food products under the brand name HappyBABY
  • Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (beech-nut)
  • Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Hain), which sells baby food products under the Earth’s Best Organic brand
  • Tanner
  • Campbell Soup Company (Campbell), which sells baby food products under the Plum Organics brand
  • Walmart Inc. (Walmart), which sells baby food products through its own brand Parent’s Choice
  • Sprout Foods, Inc. (Sprout Organic Food)

Of the seven companies audited by the committee, four reported internal documents and test results, while three (Campbell, Walmart and Sprout Organic Foods) refused to provide information, according to the report. It was also said that heavy metal levels were found in products from all four companies examined.

“The subcommittee is very concerned that the lack of cooperation could obscure the presence of even higher levels of toxic heavy metals in their baby food products than in those of its competitors,” the report said.

Internal company standards allow dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals, and documents showed that manufacturers have frequently sold foods in excess of these levels, according to the report.

It said:

Nurture (HappyBABY) sold all tested products, regardless of how much toxic heavy metal the baby food contained.

Beech-Nut set the highest internal arsenic and cadmium standards of all responding manufacturers.

Hain (Earth’s Best Organic) justified deviations from its Ingredient Testing Standards 5 based on “theoretical calculations” even after Hain admitted to the FDA that his tests underestimated the toxic heavy metals levels in the final product.

The subcommittee had “serious concerns about baby food products manufactured by Walmart (Parent’s Choice), Sprout Organic Foods and Campbell (Plum Organics)”. The report said, “Their lack of cooperation could obscure the presence of even higher levels of toxic heavy metals in their baby food products compared to their competitors’ products.”

Walmart sent CBS 11 News the following statement confirming that they had indeed contacted the committee.

“Walmart is committed to providing safe, high quality food. We made information available to the subcommittee almost a year ago and invited more dialogue on this important issue, but we received no additional requests. All product tests are carried out by our suppliers. That’s why we’ve outlined the certification requirements for our private label manufacturers and stated that our private label baby food manufacturers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the administration set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug. In addition, our private label product suppliers must meet our own internal finished product specifications. For baby and toddler food this means that the values ​​must meet or fall below the limit values ​​set by the FDA. Healthy Babies Bright Futures also published What’s in my baby’s food in October 2019, which tested seven Walmart private label products. According to the reported results, the metals tested were within FDA guidelines. We are now reviewing the report as it becomes available. “

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The Campbell Soup Company also sent CBS 11 News a statement denying that they did not cooperate. It read in part:

“For more than 150 years, Campbell has put consumer safety, especially our youngest consumers, first. That is why we worked with the Baby Food Supervision and Reform Committee. We were quick to respond to their questions, which you can read here, and never refused anything that was asked of us. We are surprised that the committee would suggest that Campbell was less than a full partner in this mission. We welcomed the opportunity to work with the committee in 2019 – and we continue to do so today. “

Read the full explanation of the report here.

The report also alleges that “the Trump administration ignored a secret presentation by the industry to federal agencies exposing an increased risk of toxic heavy metals in baby food.” In the presentation it was made clear that the testing of the ingredients is insufficient and that only testing the end products can measure the true danger of baby food. But: “The Trump FDA has not taken any new measures. To date, baby foods that contain toxic heavy metals are not labeled or warned to parents. Manufacturers are free to only test ingredients or not test at all for the vast majority of baby foods, ”the report said.

The report recommended a series of reforms to the industry to regain public confidence.

The subcommittee made the following recommendations:

• Mandatory Testing – Baby food manufacturers should be asked by the FDA to test their finished products for toxic heavy metals, not just their ingredients.

• Labeling – Manufacturers should be asked by the FDA to include toxic heavy metals on food labels.

Voluntary Toxic Ingredients Leakage – Manufacturers should voluntarily find replacements for ingredients rich in toxic heavy metals or phasing out products that contain high levels of ingredients that are often high in toxic heavy metals, such as: B. Rice.

• FDA Standards: The FDA should set maximum levels of toxic heavy metals that are allowed in baby food. For each metal there should be a level for all baby food. And the level should be set to protect babies from the neurological effects of toxic heavy metals. and

• Parent vigilance – Parents should avoid baby foods that contain ingredients that are high in toxic heavy metals, such as: B. Rice Products.

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Affected parents should switch to homemade baby food with unprocessed fruits and vegetables. This way, they know exactly what ingredients are getting into their baby’s food. Homemade baby foods are generally more nutritious and tastier than commercially processed foods. And when cooked in bulk, it’s cheaper than commercial options.

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