Popular baby food products test positive for arsenic, BPA, lead

A baby holds a bottle and sits in a high chair

A baby holds a bottle and sits in a high chair

While this sounds scary and will hopefully encourage those who produce and monitor our food supply to be as rigorous as possible when testing and labeling baby food, parents should not panic.

A list of the all the products tested and their ratings can be found on the Clean Label project website. They claim to have tested 530 baby products purchased within the past five months.

In the study, they tested over 500 baby food products including 86 infant formulas, 138 toddler snacks, 138 baby food pouches, and 30 baby cereals.

Researchers found arsenic in 65% of baby food products; cadmium in 58 percent of the products; and lead in 36 percent of the products. At the time this piece was published, the nonprofit also had not responded to multiple requests for more information.

Some 65 percent of baby food products in the United States - including four out of five baby formulas - contain traces of the toxin arsenic, a new study has found, but officials say there is little they can do to remove substances that could harm developing infants. "None of us know how legitimate it is".

The World Health Organization reports that arsenic is a harmful toxin which is mostly found in groundwater. Rice often absorbs arsenic from contaminated soil as it grows in the environment.

The highest concentration of cadmium, a metal found in batteries, was found in soy-based infant formulas. It too is found in fruits and vegetables.

Also in that study is lead.

A Forbes article published in 2014, listed 11 different chemicals that affected baby's brain development, and both arsenic and lead were present on the list. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic in infant rice cereal, but not enforcing that limit. Acrymalide can also cause neurological damage and is a likely carcinogen, according to the National Cancer Institute. But when we say large doses, we're not talking about jars of baby food.

What Does This Mean for You?

"What food is the best?" However, there's no doubt that making your own baby food can be expensive and time-consuming.

The top five and bottom five products in each category can be found here.

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