New report finds toxic heavy metals still present in popular baby food brands

Parents are sounding the alarm over information about leading baby foods revealed in a report released this month by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform
Updated: Feb. 16, 2021 at 9:54 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Parents are sounding the alarm over information about leading baby foods revealed in a report released this month by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

It found common brands contain toxic chemicals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium.

Moms like Lauren Egger and Aubrie Novotny are concerned about harmful contaminants once again found in popular baby foods like Beechnut, Gerber, and Earth’s Best.

“It’s aggravating and frustrating,” said Novotny.

“We have to not just go through the grocery store blindly and think everything is ok for our family because it’s not,” Egger said.

Exposure to these heavy metals has been linked to behavioral impairments, brain damage and even death.

“The baby food industry is a business at the end of the day. So do they have your child’s best interest at heart? No. It’s sad. It’s disturbing, but no,” said Egger.

“The exposures that a baby has are more important than an adult has. That’s just true. When you are making new brain connections and your body is creating larger organs it is important that the food source is safe,” said Pediatrician and Chief Medical Officer at SpoonfulONE, doctor Wendy Sue Swanson.

She encourages parents not to panic.

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According to Dr. Swanson, the most recent report and call from Congress for greater regulations is a good step forward, but parents can control the amount of exposure to these toxins by introducing variety into their child’s diet.

“We know now more than ever before the value of getting all kinds of foods early into your baby’s diet. And the value that each additional food that you bring to your baby’s diet down regulates their risks from an allergic stand point,” she said.

“While the report highlighted a handful of large brands that could use some improvement, there are some progressive brands that are voluntarily and proactively screening their supply chain for these different types of heavy metals in order to minimize the contamination that takes place within the finished products,” said Jackie Bowen, Executive Director for the Clean Label Project.

She’s referring to brands like Cerebelly, Serenity Kids, Yummy Spoonfuls, Once Upon A Farm, Tiny Human Food, Freshbellies, and Nature’s One.

Bowen believes current industry standards need to be reevaluated.

“In the absence of federal regulation, consumer purchasing power can pull through industry reform,” she said.

“Harness the consumer buyer power that we have so, really we could just boycott all baby food altogether which would be amazing. Your kids will probably thrive and grow a lot better anyways,” Egger said.

Novotny and Egger would like to see more parents make their own baby food.

“More and more people are slowly becoming aware. You want to shout it from roof tops, but you’re one person,” Novotny said.

To read the entire report and its findings click here.

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