Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a statement saying that all the companies that manufacture baby food should consider the toxic chemicals in their products during testing.
The director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA, Susan Mayne said that manufacturers are obliged to consider the potentially hazardous chemicals in the hazard analysis. This includes toxic elements found in baby food products.
Recently, an investigation by the US representatives showed that some companies that manufactured baby food sold these products knowing that they contain toxic chemicals. As a result, the FDA issued a serious warning to the manufacturers about testing their products for any concentration of toxic heavy metals. Moreover, the organization mentioned that they will take serious action against those companies to protect the health of the children.
They also mentioned that the agency has the authority to remove any product from the market that contains toxic substances. According to the director of the chemicals policy for Environmental Defense Fund, Tom Nelter said that this is a positive step from the FDA but more needs to be done. Moreover, another response came from Scott Faber, the senior vice president at the Environmental Working Group for government affairs.
He said that he does not count this warning as progress since the FDA did not issue any deadline. Also, there is an absence of standards that can force these manufacturers. He also said that the food companies must test for toxic chemicals in their products as stated by the law. This includes testing metals found in baby foods and taking measures to reduce the hazard in their products.
Faber also mentioned that the law clearly stated these guidelines but he is unsure if these food manufacturing companies follow the rules. Moreover, they also have concerns if FDA enforces these laws upon these companies.
According to the congressional investigation, several food companies had a high concentration of heavy metals in their products. The baby foods showed a high level of toxic elements including lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. These concentrations exceed the permissible value and hence pose a hazard to the health of children.
The investigation also reports that a high concentration of heavy metals also existed in organic food products. Moreover, the chemicals in these products feature in the top 10 metals of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). These elements exist naturally and a part of the soil in which the crops grow. Therefore, we can not completely avoid them. However, some fields have a higher level of these chemicals due to the overuse of pesticides or pollution.
Usually, these toxic elements comprise an integral part of the pesticides used to kill pests that grow on crops. Also, the increasing industrial pollution releases a huge amount of these chemicals every day. All of these toxic substances can cause chronic illnesses and may lead to cancer and neurotoxic effects. Meanwhile, these chemicals are even more dangerous for the development of a baby. Also, they may stop the development of the brain of a child.