News from CRIS: Heavy Metals in Baby Food

February 23, 2021

What are they finding in baby food?

report presented to the U.S. House Oversight Committee states that some baby foods contain heavy metal ingredients at levels that warrant further investigation. The report highlights arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.
The report compares the levels found in baby foods to the allowable limits set for heavy metals in drinking water and infant formula because there’s no established threshold for most heavy metals (arsenic being the exception) in baby food. 

Why are there limits on heavy metals in formula and water but not on baby food?

For many infants, formula is their primary nutritional source. Formula-fed infants can consume 30 ounces of formula daily for a developmentally significant period (1).
We need water to live, and as adults we can consume up to 3 liters of water a day for the majority of our lives (1).
Formula and water represent a significant exposure from a single source over a sustained amount of time. Formula and water have stringent guidelines because the exposure is so great that the harm could be significant if left unchecked (1,2). 
We suspect baby foods do not have a specifically established safety limit at this time because there isn’t the same intake/exposure as through formula and/or water.


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