Analysis Finds Lead in 20% of Baby Food Samples

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Jun 17, 2017

A new report has found that 20% of baby food contains traces of lead — a higher amount than what is found in all other foods.

The Environmental Defense Fund analyzed 11 years of data between 2003 and 2013 from the Food and Drug Administration as part of its Total Diet Study, which also found traces of lead in 14% of all other food samples.

"While we evaluated all types of food collected by FDA, we focused on types of baby food because infants are most vulnerable to lead," the report states.

The analysis found that at least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of baby food had detectable levels of lead.

Baby food versions of apple and grape juices, as well as carrots, had more samples with detectable levels of lead than the regular versions, according to the report. Grape juice most often contained lead, with 89% of samples showing detectable levels.

Fruit juices, root vegetables and cookies were found to most often contain lead — 86% of sweet potato baby food samples and 43% of carrot samples contained lead, respectively.

Teething biscuits and Arrowroot cookies were also found to contain traces of lead, with 64% of the cookie samples testing positive.

The EDF listed goals and recommendations for manufacturers to reduce the amount of lead in food, including testing for lead more regularly and prioritizing limiting lead exposure.

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