Ingredients in many baby foods, including some organic fare, are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in products like bottled water, congressional investigators said Thursday.
Their report underscored the federal government’s persistently lax approach to overseeing the safety of baby food, some experts said, despite clear risks to infants and toddlers. Exposure to heavy metals in particular has been linked to behavioral impairments, brain damage and even death.
“This is an endemic problem that’s been swept under the rug and never addressed,” said Tracey Woodruff, director of the program on reproductive health and the environment at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the preparation of the congressional report.
“It speaks to the many areas that we need government to be active in,” she added. “Consumers can’t figure it out on their own.”