Study: High concentrations of heavy metals found in baby foods

A report Thursday by testing organization Consumer Reports found a "worrisome" amount of heavy metals, including arsenic and lead, in two-thirds of baby foods it tested. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

By Ed Adamczyk, UPI

Two-thirds of the baby foods tested by Consumer Reports had a troubling cadmium, inorganic arsenic or lead content, a study by the review company showed.

The non-governmental organization tested 50 brand name baby foods and found "worrisome" levels of heavy metals in 68 percent of those tested. Ingesting the metals can, over time, impair cognitive function in babies and children.

Cadmium, arsenic and lead are regarded, with mercury, as the most harmful to health.

[post_ads]The report said every product tested had a measurable level of at least one heavy metal, and 15 of the 50 tested could pose health risks to a child regularly eating just one serving per day.

The study also noted foods containing rice or sweet potatoes were especially likely to have high metal levels, and organic foods were as likely to contain heavy metals as conventional foods.

Consumer Reports said most of the tested food was made by Gerber and Beech-Nut, the industry's two largest manufacturers.

A separate examination by another testing firm last year reported 80 percent of 530 infant formulas tested contained contaminants.

Over 90 percent of parents with children 3 and under rely on the tested foods, at least occasionally, the report said. Sales of baby food top about $50 billion annually, and that amount could reach $76 billion by 2021.

The report noted the metals in question are part of the environment, and humans require trace amounts to survive. However, human activities like pesticide application, runoffs from mining and the use of leaded gasoline can pollute the environment and lead to greater contamination in plants used for food.


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Health News: Study: High concentrations of heavy metals found in baby foods
Study: High concentrations of heavy metals found in baby foods
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