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Statement: New congressional report paints scary picture of toxic metals in baby food

Baby Food Safety Act introduced in March would protect babies
For immediate release

WASHINGTON -- A congressional report released Wednesday found the problem of toxic heavy metals in baby food is even worse than many suspected. The report says some baby food manufacturers didn’t test baby food properly and didn’t stop selling some foods with dangerous levels of inorganic arsenic. Other manufacturers, meanwhile, didn’t do a good job testing for other heavy metals, including lead, cadmium and mercury, the report said. 

“The testing practices for toxic heavy metals used by most of the baby food industry are flawed and underestimate the toxic heavy metal content of their products,” the report said.

This report follows another congressional report released in February that found four of the largest baby food manufacturers have been selling baby food with potentially dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals. Three other large manufacturers didn’t respond to the congressional inquiry.

In response, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog Teresa Murray issued the following statement:

“This report gave me chills, and it should be a wake-up call for anyone who cares about babies. The findings, if true, cry out for the need for new legislation and better regulation to protect the tiniest and most vulnerable among us.

“The Baby Food Safety Act of 2021, which was introduced in Congress in March, would require stricter testing, would limit arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, and would require compliance within one year -- not a multi-year, open-ended process as the Food and Drug Administration has proposed. 

“There are virtually no standards for the maximum levels of heavy metals allowed in baby food now, even though we know these metals can damage babies’ brains and impair neurological development. 

“Congress needs to pass this legislation now before even more babies suffer possibly permanent brain damage or neurological impairment from eating toxic baby food.”

 

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