harmful ingredients in baby food

But it said its testing shows that metals in its baby foods are within acceptable limits. Too many toxins are finding their way into food for young children, a new report says. Baby food from several of the country's largest manufacturers are "tainted" with toxic heavy metals, according to a disturbing new government report. Take a Look at Your Daily Routine, Breastfeeding and Antibiotics: What You Need to Know. … Toxic metals might be more common in baby foods because of the vitamins and minerals added to those foods during processing, he said. “One of the important things for parents to remember is that you may not know all of the ingredients (intentional or unintentional) that may go into baby food and juices marketed for children, even if you read the label,” said Claudio, who also writes about science issues. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Trader Joe's increases pandemic pay nationwide, while Kroger announces store closings over hazard pay mandates, Here's when you can get one and the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Manufacturers have taken other steps to keep environmental toxins out of their products, in part due to a draft guidance from the FDA about acceptable levels of contaminants in baby food. A congressional investigation has found levels of arsenic, lead and other toxic metals that can harm brain development in many popular baby foods, including organic brands. Read More. The … Tests of baby food sold in the United States revealed that 95 percent contain one or more toxic chemicals, including lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. “You need to make sure your kids have a varied diet,” Lisa Barnett, co-founder of organic baby food company Little Spoon, told Healthline. Because babies' brains are still developing, there is a lot of concern about how those metals could damage that development, Hansen said. This is normal but may sometimes require medical attention. In some cases, the toxins had natural origins. commercial baby foods are tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Rice, a common ingredient in baby foods, also tends to have high levels of arsenic. “The cumulative impact of exposures is what makes this a significant concern that demands action.”. By the time symptoms like behavioral problems show up, it can be difficult to trace them back to foods, he said. Organic vegetables grown next to an older highway, for example, may be planted in soil contaminated by passing cars spewing leaded gasoline fumes for decades. COVID pay:Trader Joe's increases pandemic pay nationwide, while Kroger announces store closings over hazard pay mandates, McDonald's Shamrock Shake is coming back:Here's when you can get one and the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry. Toxic metals might be more common in baby foods because of the vitamins and minerals added to those foods during processing, he said. "Dangerous levels of toxic metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury exist in baby foods at levels that exceed what experts and governing bodies say are permissible," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, which conducted the investigation, told CNN Thursday. The subcommittee, which is led by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, said it wants the FDA to set standards for the presence of heavy metals in baby foods. In a report released Thursday, a U.S. House Subcommittee said it requested internal data from seven companies, including Walmart, in 2019 after a nonprofit called Healthy Babies Bright Futures published results of testing it did on baby foods. Because baby food companies are voluntarily testing, it may be that their foods have lower levels of toxins than items you find in the grocery store” to make homemade baby food, Houlihan said. The 5 S's are a series of popular steps used to soothe your fussy baby. The FDA also recommends feeding babies a variety of grain-based cereals, not just those made with rice. We'll explain the method and the reasoning behind each one. GMO food products are used in top brands of formula and recently one of them, Similac, has started selling Non-GMO baby food in the USA. Rice, a common ingredient in baby foods, also tends to have high levels of arsenic. After about 530 baby food products were tested, researchers found 65% of products tested positive for arsenic, 36% for lead, 58% for cadmium and … Little Spoon sources its carrots from California and its sweet potatoes from Washington, where soil contamination levels are lower. First of all, here is a look at research studies examining the nutritional values. They all contain food additives or chemicals that can be dangerous for children. It is very common for babies to refuse bottle-feeding at some point during their development. “When FDA acts, companies respond. “This is top of mind for the industry. Parents are also urged to serve a variety of vegetables, which contain a range of nutrients, and avoid relying too much on food types that may contain higher levels of toxins. The manufacturing process may also introduce metal contamination into foods. “These products can have high levels of sodium, preservatives, artificial colors, pesticides, and other contaminants or additives.”. Be aware that many have the same first or second ingredient, though. Babies spit up curdled milk when milk from feeding is mixed with acidic stomach fluid. All rights reserved. Among the high-risk foods for infants were rice-based snacks and meals (puffs snacks, teething biscuits, and infant rice cereal), carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruit juices. Happy Family also said the test results it provided in 2019 don't reflect all of the current products. At Little Spoon, products are made by hand and purified under cold water pressure, rather than heat-pasteurized in industrial facilities. Oral hygiene isn’t only for older kids and adults — babies need their mouths clean, too, and the earlier you start, the better. The FDA has declared that inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury are dangerous, particularly to infants and children, the report noted. © 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. But according to an alarming new study by the Clean Label Project, they were found in more than 500 popular baby food products and could pose a danger to your baby's development. Since rice is known to readily absorb arsenic naturally found in soil, health experts advised parents to find alternative foods to feed their children, such as oatmeal in place of rice cereal. Hansen said parents who are concerned should switch to unprocessed fruits and vegetables. The subcommittee said Walmart, Sprout Foods and Campbell Soup Co., which makes Plum Organics baby food, didn't cooperate. There are several reasons why commercial baby food may not be the optimal choice. Arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury – metals that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers harmful to human health – can remain in the environment for decades from past pesticide and herbicide use, according to Michael Hansen, a senior staff scientist with Consumer Reports. Read the Label: Your Child’s Baby Food May Have Too Much Sugar. Baby food manufacturers have found a goldmine in gullible parents. Here's what you need to know about tap water, well water, bottled…. “Organic standards do not address these contaminants, and foods beyond the baby food aisle are equally affected,” the report noted. Multi-ingredient baby food blends may be a good option. In a statement Thursday, the FDA said it takes exposure to toxic elements in the food supply very seriously. In that submission, it noted that the FDA doesn't have standards for heavy metals in baby food. "We acknowledge that there is more work to be done, but the FDA reiterates its strong commitment to continue to reduce consumer exposure to toxic elements and other contaminants," the agency said. Arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury are in the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of concern for infants and children. Rice is grown in water, and arsenic from the soil dissolves when it comes in contact with water, he said. “Also, there has never been a healthy reason for giving children juice, so now there is even more of a reason for parents to avoid it altogether.”. The ingredients also contained as much as 886.9 ppb of lead, with 483 ingredients … Further, the FDA also monitors baby food under the FDA’s compliance program for Toxic Elements in Food and Foodware, and Radionuclides in Food and through targeted sampling assignments. For example, 4 of 7 infant rice cereals contained levels of inorganic arsenic higher than the standard of 100 parts per billion set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Campbell Soup Co. said it did respond to the subcommittee's questions. The amounts of toxins found in baby food were small, but Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and director of the Program in Global Public Health and the Common Good in the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society at Boston College, noted, “Arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals are known causes of neurodevelopmental harm.”, “Low level exposures add up, and exposures in early life are especially dangerous,” he told Healthline. Toxic metals might be more common in baby foods because of the vitamins and minerals added to those foods during processing, he said. Hansen said the FDA should require baby food companies to test the final products and make the results available, particularly for organic brands. Jane Houlihan, HBBF research director and an author of the study, told Healthline that because heavy metals are in the food chain, the making of toxin-free baby foods requires careful sourcing and rigorous testing. Rice is grown in water, and arsenic from the soil dissolves when … Here's how to clean…, It's stressful enough to be faced with an illness or condition that requires antibiotics, and now you may be wondering whether they're safe for your…. The global baby food market is worth more than £6 billion. Rice cereal is the top source of arsenic in a baby’s diet because it is often used as a first food; rice puffs and other rice flour snacks also contain high levels. Last August, the FDA finalized guidance for infant rice cereal, recommending it contain no more than 100 parts per billion of arsenic. Beyond the chemicals, pesticides, lead and other dangers lurking in commercial baby foods, the food preservation techniques employed by baby … Rice, a common ingredient in baby foods, also tends to have high levels of arsenic. Feeding Babies Peanut-Based Food May Prevent Lifelong Allergies. When parents buy commercial baby food they are paying, not only for all the ingredients, but also for the processing, packaging, storage, … Rice, a common ingredient in baby foods… A study comparing all 479 commercially available baby foods in the UK found that 65% are sweetened. The agency said baby food makers have made progress in reducing arsenic in baby food since 2016, when it first proposed setting the 100 ppb guidance. Earth's Best Organics also said the report referenced outdated data. The brand said it removed brown rice from its products, changed other ingredients and expanded testing of finished products after a meeting with the FDA last year. Over the last few decades, the number of chemicals added to foods and other products has skyrocketed. Different flavor blends, like kale/pear and spinach/pumpkin, for example, may actually both have sweet potatoes as their first ingredient. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas is known to have higher arsenic levels than rice grown in California, India, or Pakistan. Manufacturers should be required to test finished products and publish the results, the subcommittee said in its report. Water for Formula: Which Type Should You Use? The researchers concluded that the majority … Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Walmart also said it reached out to the subcommittee, but made clear that any product testing would be managed by its suppliers. Tests of baby food sold in the United States revealed that 95 percent contain one or more toxic chemicals, including lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. Toxic metals might be more common in baby foods because of the vitamins and minerals added to those foods during processing, he said. “It can also vary from field to field,” Houlihan said. Baby food producers may be adding ingredients into their products, such as vitamin and mineral mixes, that contain high levels of toxic heavy metals. The two main ingredients of formula, corn syrup and sugar, are often genetically modified to a great extent. Toxic elements, such as arsenic and lead, are present in the environment and may enter the food supply through soil, water or air. Four of the companies – Gerber, Beech-Nut, Earth's Best Organics maker Hain Celestial and Happy Family Organics maker Nurture Inc. – shared documents. “Current arsenic contamination levels in rice cereal and juice are 36 percent and 75 percent less, respectively, than the amounts measured a decade ago,” Houlihan said. Rice is grown in water, and arsenic from the soil dissolves when … We add preservatives to foods … Among the safer alternatives for young children are rice-free snacks, non-rice cereal (such as multigrain and oatmeal cereals), and non-rice-based soothing foods for teething (like a frozen banana or chilled cucumber). The advice goes against the old adage about introducing infants to one food at a time, but as Barnett notes, varying the child’s diet can ensure they get “nutrients that can act as a buffer to heavy metal absorption, or help the body eliminate them.”. “The chemicals found in baby food – arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury – are neurotoxins that can permanently alter the developing brain, erode IQ, and affect behavior,” the report explained. Making such choices can eliminate toxin exposure by as much as 80 percent. Rice is grown in water, and arsenic from the … And 1 in 4 of the 168 baby foods tested contained all four heavy metals, according to the report from the group Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF). To avoid this problem, some companies have switched to stainless steel equipment. "To this day, baby foods containing toxic heavy metals bear no label or warning to parents. “These four harmful metals are found in all food – not just baby food… We have created all sorts of plastics that are used in innumerable ways. The World Health Organization says a large amount of baby food has too much sugar and companies are marketing the goods to parents of infants under 6…, A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says exposing babies to peanuts at an early age can help prevent allergies from developing in…, Before you make a bottle for your new arrival, consider the water you're using. A recent congressional report reveals that ingredients in many baby foods contain dangerously high levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium. There are several reasons why your baby does not want to…. Leading baby food manufacturers defended their food safety practices on Thursday after a Consumer Reports analysis showed several products contained unsafe … Rice, a common ingredient in baby foods, also tends to have high levels of arsenic. Happy Family Organics said it was disappointed in the report, which it said didn't make clear that metals and minerals are found in trace amounts in many foods. Manufacturers are free to test only ingredients, or, for the vast majority of baby foods, to conduct no testing at all," the report said. Exposure to toxic heavy metals causes It also found instances where manufacturers set internal standards but still sold foods that exceeded them. We need the FDA to use their authority more effectively, and much more quickly, to reduce toxic heavy metals in baby foods,” she said. “I also suggest minimizing the amount of root vegetables given to a child based on what researchers found in terms of elevated levels of toxic substances,” she said. The report found some instances where manufacturers tested ingredients but not final products, even though levels of toxic metals might be higher in the finished products. GMO food has been associated with cancer, organ failure and birth defects. Manufacturers, HBBF, and groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund have partnered to form the new Baby Food Council with the goal of minimizing the presence of heavy metal in processed baby food. “Multiple studies have discussed various arsenic levels in rice, so for years I have been telling parents to stay away from rice cereal,” Dr. Gina Posner, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in California, told Healthline. 79% of these foods were spoonable baby jar foods, but similar homemade foods had more than double the nutrients. Throughout this report, rice appeared at or near the top of every list of dangerous baby foods. Beech-Nut said it is still reviewing the report, but assured parents its baby food is "safe and nutritious.". A message seeking comment was left with Gerber. 1. Rice, a common ingredient in baby foods… "You can't just allow the companies to do their own thing," he said. Luz Claudio, PhD, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, told Healthline that she prepared her own baby food when her daughter was an infant, using steamed and pureed organic fruit and vegetables. Can Solid Food Help Your Baby Get to Sleep? If your baby isn't sleeping well at night, a few tweaks to their daily routine can help in a big way. However, even organic foods prepared without chemical pesticides aren’t immune from toxic contamination of soil and water. The subcommittee's report said Beech-Nut used some ingredients that tested as high as 913 parts per billion for arsenic, while Earth's Best Organics used ingredients testing as high as 309 parts per billion for arsenic. Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, Baby Not Sleeping at Night? Spoon, products are made by hand and purified under cold water pressure, rather than in! 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