Study Found That Formula in Baby Food Tested Positive For Arsenic,…

A baby holds a bottle and sits in a high chair

A new study released Wednesday found that an alarming number of popular baby food and formula products contained lead, arsenic and BPA-including 80 percent of infant formula which tested positive for arsenic. It might be frightening to read that "nearly 80% of baby formula samples tested positive for arsenic", but without knowing the levels of arsenic, it is impossible to determine if the amount in baby formula is unsafe. Almost 80% of infant formula samples tested positive for arsenic. 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. Among the worst products were specific baby cereals made by Healthy Times, Organix, Gerber, Earth's Best, and Parent's Choice. It's great if the study spurs a conversation about chemicals in our food supply, but there's no reason to stop buying baby food or formula entirely. The toxin is associated with developmental defects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, diabetes and even cancer, according to the World Health Organization. Conversely, the brand report card of Nosh! showed 1.4 stars, while Little Duck Organics got a rating of two stars.

The FDA's 2006-2013 study of toxic and nutritional elements tested for three of the four contaminants mentioned by the Clean Label Project: arsenic, cadmium and lead. Rice often absorbs arsenic from contaminated soil as it grows in the environment. There are strict regulations on lead, though many experts think those need updating because no amount of lead is safe.

The Clean Label Project posted and graded the products on its website but did not publish its findings in a peer-reviewed journal. The highest levels of arsenic have been detected from rice-based baby foods.

Low levels of lead have been linked to lower IQs, slower growth, hearing issues, anemia, and behavioral problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Clean Label Project, a non-profit that advocates for transparent product labeling, tested about 530 of top-selling baby foods, formulas and snacks in a five-month study.

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