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Walmart Refuses to Cooperate With Toxic Baby Food Inquiry, Report Says

High toxin levels were previously found in the company's baby food products.
FACT CHECKED BY Mura Dominko
baby food in glass jars

Walmart and two other companies are refusing to cooperate with an investigation into high levels of heavy metal toxins in their baby food. The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, which is conducting the investigation, alleges this could mean their products are more harmful than previously thought.

High levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury have been found in Walmart's Parent's Choice baby food as well as in similar products by six other companies. As a result, the Subcommittee requested insight into test results and other internal documents in late 2019. Four companies complied, but Walmart, Campbell, and Sprout Organic Foods "refused to cooperate," the report says, noting that this could indicate the toxin levels are even higher than expected. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.)

"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," it says.

Amounts of toxins found exceeded levels that are allowed for food products—arsenic levels were 91 times higher, lead was 177 times higher, cadmium 69 times higher, and mercury up to 5 times higher. But since Walmart did not submit information, little is known about the actual levels in their baby food. Eat This, Not That! has reached out to the company for a comment.

"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 says. "Toxic heavy metals endanger infant neurological development and long-term brain function."

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