'Alarming Study' on Chemicals in Baby Food Lacks Evidence

A baby holds a bottle and sits in a high chair

The Clean Label Project's report card for toxic metals gave a score of 2 out of 5 for these brands.

Nealy 80 percent of formula tested positive for arsenic.

It also stated that some products labelled certified organic had higher amounts of mercury and lead than conventional baby foods.

In October 2017, several news organizations reported that an "alarming", "scary" and "staggering" study had found widespread chemical contaminants in baby food. The samples were all purchased within the last five months.

The Clean Label Project is a Denver, Colorado-based organization committed to looking beyond the label and marketing terms to give consumers information they need to select products that contain the fewest poisons and food additives. We want to reassure parents that the health and safety of babies is our number one priority, which is why we never compromise on the quality of our formulas and foods for babies and toddlers. The products were made by a wide range of companies including 365 Everyday Value, Annie's Homegrown, Baby Mum-Mum, Beech-Nut, Enfamil, Gerber and the Honest Company.

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According to the Clean Label Project, the products were screened for 130 toxins including heavy metals, BPA, pesticides and other contaminants.

Five-hundred baby food products were tested.

Arsenic and cadmium are naturally occurring elements found in soil, water and air, so it is not surprising that they are found in food.

"The baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America's most vulnerable population", Clean Label Project's Jaclyn Bowen said. Lead can also be the result of the manufacturing process though there are strict rules regarding what lead can and can't be used in because of the known health risks of exposure. No amount of lead is safe, but it's not regulated. Due to this babies can also develop abnormalities at the later stage of life. Plus, 60% of products claiming to be "BPA free" tested positive for the industrial chemical bisphenol A. The quantities of contaminates range, but some products tested positive for up to 600 parts of arsenic per billion.

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