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FDA getting pressure from Democrats to regulate toxic metals in baby food after release of new study

Last month, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform completed a 15 month long investigation into the prevalence of toxic metals in baby food. Beech-Nut Nutrition, Hain Celestial Group, Gerber, and Nurture participated in the study, agreeing to provide information about “testing policies and test results regarding their products…” per

The FDA places limits on the amount of metals such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium that can be present in bottled water. They place no such limits on baby food. While it’s true that some metals do “occur naturally” in a number of grains and vegetables, acceptable levels of metals in your baby’s food can be exceeded when other ingredients are used by manufacturers. So what was the conclusion of the investigation? Well the Chairman of the subcommittee described is as such, “baby food companies were not looking out for parents and young kids the way that we all expected - instead, they were knowingly selling us tainted products.” Oof. That’s a pretty strong accusation. For their part, manufacturers pushed back. Hain Celestial Group says their standards “meet or exceed the current federal guidelines.” And one retailer had their own response, with Walmart telling Reuters that they require private label supplied baby and toddler food to “meet or fall below the limits established by the FDA.”

In light of the report’s findings, 4 Democratic members of Congress are urging the FDA to use the power it has to take immediate action. Those members are also drafting legislation that according to CNBC would “strengthen regulations for baby food safety.” In response, the FDA noted that they take the exposure of toxic metals in foods “extremely seriously”. The FDA is reviewing the findings of the congress’s investigation, and says that they’re looking forward to working with them.

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