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These Baby Foods Contain Lead, Arsenic, and Other Toxins, Report Finds

Seven baby food brands are mentioned in a new report from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Baby food products from seven different companies were found to contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, according to a report from the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy within the U.S. House of Representatives.

The report, released on Feb. 4, names the baby food brands HappyBABY, Beech-Nut, Earth's Best Organic, Gerber, Campbell's Plum Organics, Walmart's Parent's Choice, and Sprout Organic Foods, and presents results showing that their products have significantly higher levels of toxins than is permitted by regulation. Specifically, the analyzed baby food contained 91 times the arsenic level, 177 times the lead level, 69 times the cadmium level, and 5 times the mercury level. (Related: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.)

"Exposure to toxic heavy metals causes permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children," the report stated. "Toxic heavy metals endanger infant neurological development and long-term brain function."

Four of the companies responded to the requests for documentation about ingredients and testing policies. But three, Walmart, Campbell, and Sprout Organic Foods, did not. The report says this could mean their levels of toxins may be even higher than expected.

In the past, Hain, which sells Earth's Best Organic, has said its products contain ingredients based on 'theoretical calculations" and underestimating. To prevent this from happening again, the Subcommittee is requesting mandatory testing, labeling changes to report levels of toxins, and for the companies to voluntarily phase out the toxins in their products.

It also calls on the FDA to set maximum levels of heavy metal toxins permitted in baby food. And finally, it warns that parents should be vigilant and pay attention to the brands they are buying.

For more items to cross off your grocery list, watch out for the 8 Food Recalls You Need to Know About Now. To get all the latest grocery store and health news delivered right to your email inbox every day, sign up for our newsletter!

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more