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WSJ: FDA Proposes Limits for Lead in Baby Food

re: heavy metals

It is the year 2023, and the FDA is only now getting around to making food safe for the most vulnerable age of all?

I still don’t know why my own blood lead level is so high. Food? How would I know?

WSJ: FDA Proposes Limits for Lead in Baby Food

2023-01-24

Baby-food makers say their products are safe but have been working to reduce metal levels

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took new steps Tuesday aimed at reducing young children’s exposure to lead in baby food.

The FDA issued a draft proposal limiting how much lead should be present in some processed baby foods typically eaten by children under 2 years old. Consumer groups and a congressional committee had raised concerns over the level of heavy metals found in some baby foods, alarming parents worried about the possible health effects. 

The proposed limits range from 10 to 20 parts per billion, varying by the type of baby food, which include puréed fruits and vegetables in jars and pouches, yogurts and dry cereals.  

The FDA’s latest proposal “will result in long-term, meaningful and sustainable reductions in the exposure to this contaminant from foods,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. Mr. Califf said the agency estimates the new limits could reduce lead exposure by roughly 24% to 27% from the foods. 

In 2021, a congressional investigation by the Democratic staff of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy found “dangerously high levels” of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury in top baby-food brands, including Gerber, Beech-Nut, Walmart Inc.’s store brand and several organic lines of baby foods.

...

Last year the FDA recommended limits on the levels of lead in juice and earlier took steps to limit inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal. The agency said it is continuing to work on developing recommendations around levels of arsenic, cadmium and mercury. 

WIND: it’s harder than one might think to get heavy metals out of food, since many soils naturally have lead and other heavy metals in them.

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