Shifts – US Congressional investigators found that some baby foods contain dangerous levels of heavy metals that can be “according to the neurological development and long-term brain function of the newborn.” Report released on Thursday By the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy.
Led by Democratic president Rep. Raja Krishnamurthy, the committee’s investigation found that the top infant foods had dangerous levels of inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.
Krishnamurthy wrote, “Baby food manufacturers hold a special status of public trust. But consumers believe that these companies will not sell unsafe products. Subcommittee staff reports have found that these manufacturers deliberately poisonous heavy Sells baby foods with high levels of metals. ” Statement.
The panel requested internal documents and test results from seven of the largest manufacturers of baby foods in the United States – Gerber, Nurture Inc., Han Celestial Group Inc., Beech-Nut Nutrition, Campbell Soup Company, Walmart Inc. and Spirit Foods, Inc.
Reportedly, Walmart, Campbell and Sprout Organic Foods refused to cooperate “in the subcommittee’s investigation”.
The investigation found significant levels of toxic heavy, which could lead to “permanent reductions in IQ, decreased future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children. Toxic heavy metals infant neurological development and long-term brain function. Puts you in danger. ” “The report states.
The report stated that the level of results under existing regulations for other products is several times higher.
“For example, the Food and Drug Administration has set the maximum allowable levels in bottled water at 10 ppb inorganic arsenic, 5 ppb lead and 5 ppb cadmium, and the Environmental Protection Agency has caped an acceptable level of mercury in drinking water at 2 PPB. The results of testing for baby foods and their ingredients assume levels: results up to 91 times the arsenic level, 177 times the lead level, 69 times the cadmium level, and 5 times the mercury level Includes, “the report read.
The report of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy found that some baby foods contain dangerous levels of heavy metals that can “endanger the infant’s neurological development and long-term brain function.” (Photo: File / Fox Television Star
The subcommittee’s investigation also alleged that manufacturers ignored internal standards and continued to sell products with high heavy metals.
“Subcommittee investigations have shown that manufacturers intentionally sell tainted baby food to unaffected parents, despite the internal company’s test results showing high levels of toxic heavy metal, and without any warning labels,” Krishnamurti said. “I look forward to the FDA’s careful regulation of these toxic heavy metals in baby foods, followed by strict compliance requirements and mandatory consumer labels.”
The report states, “The FDA now has to determine if there is a safe exposure level for inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury infants. Manufacturers must meet those levels and provide consumers with labels Needs to be informed. “
And, while the report found that toxin levels are higher than FDA’s acceptable levels, it is unclear whether these specific levels at elevated levels can have detrimental effects on the child’s health, if any.
The FDA did not immediately respond to Fox TV stations’ request for comment.
Beech-Nut Nutrition said in a statement, “We want to assure parents that beech-nut products are safe and nutritious.” “We are currently reviewing the subcommittee report. We want to continue to work with the FDA in partnership with the Baby Food Council on science-based standards that food suppliers can implement in our industry.”
A spokesman for Gerber said in an email to Fox television stations, “The standards we have for the safety and quality of our baby foods are industry-leading, and not only in America, but among the strictest people in the world Are. We meet or exceed all current government requirements, and where they currently do not exist, we have established our own high standards based on the latest food safety guidance. “
“Heavy metals naturally occur in the soil and water in which crops are grown. As stated in our 2019 response to the Congress investigation, we take a number of steps to reduce their presence, including : Prioritizing growing locations based on climate and soil composition; approving fields; crops are rotated according to the best available science before crops are planted on soil testing basis; and production, water and For testing other ingredients. Gerber foods receive thorough inspection at all levels of the growing and production process, “the spokesperson said.
Walmart responded to the Congressional report by stating that the company is also committed to providing a safe product to its customers.
“We provided information to the subcommittee about a year ago and invited more dialogue on this important issue, but never received any additional inquiries. Any product testing would be managed by our suppliers, which is why we Have described certification requirements for their private label manufacturers and companies. ” Told that our private label baby food manufacturers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those set by the US Food and Drug Administration, ”the company said in an email.
“In addition, our private label product suppliers must meet our own internal finished goods specifications for baby and baby food which means the level must meet or fall below the limits established by the FDA . Healthy Baby Bright Futures has also been published “What’s in My Baby.” Food, “which tested seven Walmart private label products in October of 2019 and according to their reported results, tested the metals tested at FDA guidance levels. We will now review the report that it is available.”
The Campbell Soup Company responded in a press release, stating that the company denied “nothing of them” and assured the public that their products were “safe.”
“Heavy metals are present throughout the environment, including soil and water. Whether you’re growing your produce in your backyard, buying fresh produce from the farmers market, or buying products from your favorite retailer, these substances will be present in the food. Campbell. Wrote, “Campbell is committed to reducing environmental pollution, including heavy metals, within its products, and we will work with anyone to help establish federal standards to ensure that babies are healthy in their early years Food is needed to support growth. “
Happy Family Organics (Nurture Inc.) also issued a statement defending the safety of its products.
“We can say with utmost confidence that all Happy Family Organics products are safe for babies and children to enjoy and we are proud to have the best-in-class testing protocols in our industry. We only sell those products Those that have been rigorously tested and us. Happy Family Organics wrote that products with contaminated categories are not in-market beyond the limits set by the FDA.
“We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of implementing strict quality standards in providing nutritious offerings to families. Our little ones have safety, health and well-being, and have always been an intrinsic part of our DNA.”
The Han Celestial Group Inc. wrote in response that it was “disappointed” in the subcommittee’s report and that the data did not reflect their current practices.
“The report incorrectly features a meeting with the FDA. Like any food manufacturer, we meet with regulatory and oversight agencies to refine and update our policies and procedures to ensure the safety of our products .As science evolves, so must our standards. Hair Celestial Group Inc. wrote that it took practice to consider why we met the FDA last year.
“After the meeting, we took several steps to reduce the level of heavy metals in our finished products – including now using brown rice in our products that are primarily rice-based, replacing other ingredients And are conducting additional testing of the finished product before shipping. The FDA considered the regulatory process: a collaborative improvement campaign to benefit the consumer. “
A similar investigation in 2019 found that 95 percent of baby foods tested contained one or more toxic chemicals.
The Report good, Healthy Babies commissioned by Bright Futures, said 168 baby foods from major food brands in the US were tested. The investigation found that 95 percent were contaminated with one or more toxic heavy metals – arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.
Gerber, Beech-Nut and Walmart did not immediately respond to Fox TV stations’ request for comment.