Consumer News

Beware Of Heavy Metals In Baby Foods

In 2017, Clean Label Project, a nonprofit organization, revealed the findings from a study underlining the contaminants like arsenic, lead and mercury in the popular brands of infant formula and baby foods.

The company did not stop at that since they eventually conducted another study in the same year. The Clean Label Project bought 500 baby foods, baby cereals, infant formulas, toddler drinks, baby snacks and those that came in pouches from 60 different brands. Afterward, researchers in the organization had them tested at a third-party lab for more than 130 contaminants, namely: antibiotics, BPA, heavy metals and pesticides.

A lot of new studies have warned people of toxins in the products created for babies and toddlers. Their findings revealed that about 65 percent of the baby foods that were tested contained a significant amount of arsenic, about 36 percent of the baby food samples were found to have certain levels of lead and around 60 percent of the products that had the label BPA-Free tested positive for BPA. Other baby foods labeled Certified Organic were found to have higher levels of arsenic compared to the conventional ones.

Using the results, the Clean Label Project gave star ratings to each product that they tested. One star for those with the worst performance in terms of having more contaminants and five stars for the best. The organization published the list on their website.

The baby products that were rated the highest are a mix of both organic and conventional brands. For example, their five-star brands include Enfamil Milk-Based Powder and Baby’s Only Dairy Organic Non-GMO Toddler Formula.

The heavy metals seen in these products, which include cadmium, mercury, lead and inorganic arsenic, are proven to be harmful in any amount.

According to professionals, lead damages children’s brains and no amount has been deemed safe. Both arsenic and mercury also act as neurotoxins. Infants and toddlers are specifically sensitive to these contaminants because their brains and organ systems are not yet fully developed.

On that account, these studies may be a wake-up call for both brands and parents. It is essential to encourage consumers to call out their top brands and ask if they test all their products for these toxins.

Baby Milk Members of French General Directorate of Competition, Policy Consumer Affairs, and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) check baby milk products in a pharmacy on January 11, 2018, in Orleans. GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images