A congressional investigation has found levels of arsenic, lead and other toxic metals in many popular baby foods, including organic brands.
In a report released Thursday, a U.S. House Subcommittee said it requested internal data from seven companies, including Walmart and Gerber, in 2019.
The data showed levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers those harmful to human health. The metals can remain in the environment for decades from past pesticide and herbicide use.
Baby food makers and the FDA say the metals are in many foods, and they are making progress in removing them.
The FDA released a statement to the Associated Press:
“We acknowledge that there is more work to be done, but the FDA reiterates its strong commitment to continue to reduce consumer exposure to toxic elements and other contaminants,” the FDA said.
The report follows a previous study by Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures, which found that 95% of commercially produced baby food contains toxic metals.
"These four harmful metals are found in all food – not just baby food. They occur naturally or from pollution in the environment. Crops absorb them from soil and water, and they are even found in organic food. Their presence in baby food raises unique concern, because babies are more sensitive to the toxic impacts," the group said.