(CBS Local) — A new report has been released on what dangerous chemicals may be inside baby foods and infant formulas.
According to the Clean Label Project, a nonprofit that advocates for product labeling transparency, a five-month study into hundreds of baby foods, formulas, and snacks has found that the vast majority contain some level of poisonous materials like arsenic or lead. The study tested over 500 products found in stores. Researchers reportedly found that 65 percent of the foods contained detectable levels of arsenic. More than a third of the baby products tested positive for lead. Clean Label also found cadmium, a metal found in batteries, in over half of the samples tested.
“The baby industry needs to do a better job in protecting America’s most vulnerable population,” Clean Label Project’s Jaclyn Bowen said. The nonprofit’s executive director added that rice-based baby foods like snack puffs had the highest levels of arsenic in them.
The World Health Organization reports that arsenic, a toxin commonly found in groundwater, has been associated with cancer, developmental effects in infants, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The substance is one of the organization’s 10 chemicals labeled as a major public health concern.
In 2016, the FDA admitted that many harmful elements may be found in food products and has only taken small steps to limit the public’s exposure to them. Government health officials have imposed an arsenic limit of 100 parts per billion in rice and infant rice cereals.