Beech-Nut, other baby foods contain heavy metals, according to report

FLORIDA — A storied upstate company has found itself in the middle of an emerging controversy about heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury in baby foods.

Congressional investigators on Thursday issued a report about what they said were “significant levels” of the heavy metals in common baby foods including those from Beech-Nut which is based in Florida, Montgomery County. It was among the basketful of leading food makers that were found to contain the heavy metals.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee had sought internal data from seven baby food companies in 2019 after a non-profit group, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, issue results of their own tests.

Four of the companies: Gerber, Beech-Nut, Earth’s Hail Celestial which makes Earth’s Best Organics; and Nurture, which makes Happy Family Organics, shared documents with the subcommittee, according to the Associated Press.

They said Walmart, Sprout Foods and Campbell Soup Co., which makes Plum Organics baby food, didn’t provide their internal reports. “The Subcommittee is greatly concerned that their lack of cooperation might be obscuring the presence of even higher levels of toxic heavy metals in their baby food products than their competitors’ products,” stated the subcommittee that conducted the survey.

Beech-Nut in a public statement said that  “We want to reassure parents that Beech-Nut products are safe and nutritious. We are currently reviewing the subcommittee report. We look forward to continuing to work with the FDA, in partnership with the Baby Food Council, on science-based standards that food suppliers can implement across our industry.”

Other companies offered similar remarks.

Baby Food Beech Nut 2021-02-04 ECP Baby Food Staff Report by rkarlin on Scribd

Walmart noted that they supplied information about their private label suppliers who sell under their name brand.