Citizens irate at FDA’s inability to regulate toxic metals inside food

Following a recent report released by the U.S. Congress this month suggesting that several popular baby food products contain alarming levels of harmful heavy metals, litigations were filed within days and large a number of parents expressed their anger towards baby food companies on social media.

Apparently, the severe backlash against companies manufacturing baby food has cloaked the bigger problem that heavy metal contamination, which is relatively common in food supply, is not just limited to baby food products, highlighting the federal government’s inability to protect consumers from being exposed to such harmful substances.

In this regard, Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director, Environmental Defense Fund stated that this is an overall food problem and is not confined to just baby foods.

According to the congressional report released by a House Oversight Committee panel, four major baby food brands namely Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY, Earth’s Best Organic were selling products that as per to their own internal assessment, contained lead, cadmium and arsenic at levels significantly higher than what is considered safe for infants by various health experts.

Days after the report was published, baby food companies apparently, started reassuring the parents that their offerings are safe and that they are following higher standards for sourcing ingredients.

As per the credible sources, although in certain cases the companies were aware of the elevated levels of heavy metals in their ingredients, the baby food manufacturers who are reportedly at the apex of the investigation, were not breaching any rules as the FDA has not formulated any standards regarding several heavy metals in baby food.

For the uninitiated, the U.S. FDA has mostly concentrated on foodborne pathogens such as Listeria and Salmonella historically. But in 2017, it introduced a working group dedicated towards heavy metals and other contaminants in food, supplements, and cosmetics. This move was apparently a reaction to the EPA study published earlier that year which suggested that food was the most prominent source of lead exposure in young children.

A chart included in the supplementary material of the study depicted that around half of exposure to blood lead in large number of children aged 1 to 6 years comes from food followed by soil and dust, air and water.

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Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for over 3 years now. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on penning down articles across numerous topics, for With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of intensive research and a strategic approach in his pieces.