Study finds arsenic, lead in baby food, infant formulas


65 percent of baby products tested in a new study had "detectable levels of arsenic", according to WJZ, a CBS contributing station in Baltimore. Arsenic, a toxin associated with cardiovascular conditions, developmental defects, diabetes, neurotoxicity, skin lesions, and even cancer, was present in almost 80 percent of infant formulas.

They also found that 60 per cent of products with "BPA free" labels in fact tested positive for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical which is used to make plastic.

The study also found more than half of the products tested also contained cadmium, a metal found in batteries. 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. All these brands scored a two out of five on the non-profit organization's toxicity report card.

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.

Firstly, the Clean Label Project did not publish their research in a peer-reviewed journal, and had not published any data to substantiate its claims at press time.

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The majority of the most popular baby foods on the market tested positive for the toxins. The organization has not shared insights into the actual levels of contamination they found inside of the tested products. Rice often absorbs arsenic from contaminated soil as it grows in the environment. One of the products that tested highest for arsenic were the rice-based snack puffs that toddlers all seem to love so much.

"It is important for consumers to understand that some contaminants, such as heavy metals like lead or arsenic, are in the environment and can not simply be removed from food", Peter Cassell, a FDA spokesperson.

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 baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America's most vulnerable population", Bowen said.

She hopes the results of this alarming study will prompt parents to be stronger advocates for more transparent food labeling and their children's health.