Popular baby foods and formulas test positive for arsenic, lead

A baby holds a bottle and sits in a high chair

A new study released Wednesday found that an alarming number of popular baby food and formula products contained lead, arsenic and BPA-including 80 percent of infant formula which tested positive for arsenic.

Researchers found arsenic in 65% of baby food products; cadmium in 58 percent of the products; and lead in 36 percent of the products.

When it came to the formulas, the study found nearly 80 percent tested positive for arsenic.

Of the products that claim to be BPA-free, 60 percent were found positive for the industrial chemical bisphenol A.

The products at the bottom of the lists had 170 percent more arsenic, 35 percent more cadmium, 30 percent more lead, and 20 percent more acrylamide compared to the products at the top.

They concluded their findings by identifying the top and bottom five cereals, formulas, snacks, drinks and jar meals in terms of unsafe chemical contents.

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The World Health Organization labeled arsenic as one of 10 chemicals that are major public health concerns. Conversely, the brand report card of Nosh! showed 1.4 stars, while Little Duck Organics got a rating of two stars. The highest levels of arsenic have been detected from rice-based baby foods.

The study was conducted by Clean Label Project.

Five-hundred baby food products were tested. But a deeper look into the research put forth by this study proves it may be more sensational than informative. Rice often absorbs arsenic from contaminated soil as it grows in the environment. The harmful chemical compounds present in these products were tested by the Clean Label Project. No amount of lead is safe, but it's not regulated.

Low levels of lead have been linked to lower IQs, slower growth, hearing issues, anemia, and behavioral problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Some 65 percent of baby food products in the U.S. - including four out of five baby formulas - contain traces of the toxin arsenic, a new study has found, but officials say there is little they can do to remove substances that could harm developing infants.

"The baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America's most vulnerable population", Bowen said.

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