Many commercial baby foods “are tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals,” a report released Thursday by a House subcommittee said, raising concerns over the safety of the products industry wide.
According to the staff report by the House subcommittee on economic and consumer policy, leading brands of US baby foods contain dangerous levels of inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, heavy metals that even at low levels pose particular risk to babies and children, both the US Federal Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have said.
The report was based on internal documents and test results voluntarily submitted to the committee by Nurture, Beech-Nut, Hain and Gerber, showing that the companies were aware that their products were contaminated and to what degree but continued to sell them to unsuspecting parents anyways.
Walmart, Campbell and Sprout Organic refused to participate with the subcommittee’s investigation, leading it to have “grave concerns” about the quality of their products, it said.
“The subcommittee is greatly concerned that their lack of cooperation might be obscuring the presence of even higher levels of toxic heavy metals in their baby food products than their competitors’ products,” the report said.
The report also found that the levels of toxic heavy metals in the foods often exceeded the companies’ own internal standards that already permitted dangerously high levels of such contamination.Arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury were found in food produced by all four companies, the report said, adding they were found at levels “multiples higher” than allowed under existing regulations for other products. SOVEREIGNPH