Sixty-five percent of baby food brands tested positive for arsenic, and smaller percentages also had lead, cadmium, and BPA, according to a new study.
While the amounts of the chemicals varied widely, some products tested positive for up to 600 parts per billion of arsenic, which is far more than a trace amount, USA Today reported.
The study by the Clean Label Project tested 530 baby food products and reported major brands such as Gerber, Enfamil, Plum Organics, and Sprout were among the worst offenders.
According to the study, 60 percent of products that claimed to be BPA-free tested positive for the chemical.
And when it comes to infant formulas, 80 percent contained some level of arsenic, the study found.
The Clean Label Project is a nonprofit group that lobbies for transparent labeling of foods. The chemicals found in baby food and formula can affect babies’ development, including fine motor skills and cognition, pediatrician and toxicologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas Jennifer Lowry said, USA Today reported. Lowry was not affiliated with the study.
Rice-based infant foods had some of the highest levels of arsenic because that chemical is absorbed easily from soil into the rice, USA Today reported. The USFDA has tried to limit arsenic levels in infant rice cereal to 100 parts per billion but isn’t enforcing the limit yet.
Clean Label Project Executive Director Jaclyn Bowen said she wants to see parents use the study data to better advocate for their children’s health and work for change in the baby food business, USA Today reported.
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