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Baby Food Companies Overlooked Toxic Ingredients

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
Food & Beverages
6th June 2021
Baby Food Companies Overlooked Toxic Ingredients
The FDA failed to intervene in 2017 (Getty Images).

The Claim

In 2017, food companies were aware of baby food products containing toxic metals, yet sold them nonetheless: The FDA failed to intervene.

Emerging story

Throughout May, a range of social media users claimed that the Food and Drug Administration, which is supposed to regulate food in the U.S., had failed to act upon the news that many brands of baby food contained dangerous levels of toxic metals.

Earlier in this year, other sources were stating that food companies knowingly sold baby food that was tainted with toxic metals. Overall, these posts have gained hundreds of social media interactions. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

It is true to state both that certain food companies knew that their baby food products were contaminated with toxic metals and that the FDA did not intervene. 

On February 4th, 2021, the House of Representatives released a 59 page report with the following title: “Baby Foods Are Tainted with Dangerous Levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.” 

The report stated that documentation proved that Nurture (HappyBABY,) Hain (Earth’s Best Organic,) Beech-Nut, and Gerber had all sold baby foods that contained arsenic, lead and cadmium. It also stated that Nurture (HappyBABY) sold baby food that it knew contained mercury, while Beech Nut and Hain (Earth’s Best Organic) had never tested their food for mercury and that Gerber rarely tested their food for mercury. 

Additionally, this report stated that Walmart, Campbell and Sprout Organic Foods refused to hand over documents to officials, raising suspicions. 

On May 24th, further news reports emerged that stated that the FDA knew about this contaminated baby food as early as October 2017 but failed to take any action. Reports stated that some of the highest ranking members of the FDA had spoken to researchers from the nonprofit Clean Label Project and the toxicologist/neuroscientist Doctor Sean Callan on October 27th, 2017 about their tests into contaminated baby foods. These reports then state that the FDA did not take any action until the release of the 2021 House of Representatives report. 

The May reports have noted that the toxic metals found in baby food far exceed the limits allowed in bottled water. For instance, baby foods contained 91 times the maximum arsenic limit, 177 times the lead limit and 69 times the cadmium limit. 

However, as the reports have stated, it may take years for the FDA to establish limits for toxic metals in baby food. Several lawmakers, such as Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Tammy Duckworth are urging the FDA to take swift action on regulating the level of toxic metals in baby food. 

Some users have stated that former President Donald Trump personally ignored the facts related to toxic metals in baby foods. While the House of Representatives report does not state that Trump personally ignored this information, it does state several times that the Trump administration was made aware of the dangerous levels of toxic metals in baby food and failed to take action.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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