More than two-thirds of baby food sold in United States stores, including brands marketed as natural and healthy, tested positive for dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and other toxins known to cause developmental issues in children, according to a study by the Clean Label Project.
80 percent of baby formula analyzed also had dangerous levels of arsenic in the mixture, according to researchers, who are urging parents to avoid feeding toxic brand name products to their young children, and opt for real food instead, prepared at home using ingredients they can trust.
The Clean Label Project, a non-profit organization advocating for transparent product labels in Denver, tested more than 500 popular baby foods sold in United States store, and the results were disturbing.
The Daily Mail reports: researchers found that 65 percent tested positive for arsenic, including products from popular brands such as Gerber, Parent’s Choice and Sprout.
Arsenic is a metalloid and experts warn it can affect a child’s motor skills, cognition and heart as they are growing.
The Clean Label Product tested the baby food products on what contained arsenic, lead and other dangerous chemicals.
Each product was then ranked from one to five stars based on the toxins and how nutritious the product was for a child.
The study showed that not only did more than half the products have arsenic, but also 35 percent tested positive for lead and 58 percent for cadmium.
These chemicals can pose potential risks for the infants when consumed such as neurological deficiencies and problems to the immune system.
Rice-based products such as puffs are most likely to contain arsenic, according to the study.
The US Food and Drug Administration has previously looked into the impact of arsenic on rice in food products such as rice-based baby cereals.
In April 2016, the administration proposed a limit of 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic in rice cereal for infants.
This was proposed to potentially eliminate risk that an infant could consume large amounts of the dangerous metalloid.
The European Food and Safety Authority has already enforced limitations of inorganic arsenic in rice, but the US is still in the discussion phase of the possible regulation.
The study also found that 60 percent of products that were labeled as ‘BPA free’ actually tested positive for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used to make some plastics.
This chemical can seep into food and cause an increased risk of a child developing high blood pressure and disrupt the hormones.
Experts warn that some products that have this ‘BPA free’ label could still have traces that have seeped into the food.
They recommend for people to pay attention to what products they are buying for their infants to prevent these toxins from being consumed.