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When it comes to feeding our children especially our infants, we expect the foods we buy to be safe, right? Sure, you would expect baby food, in general, to be safe but as it turns out there could be something a bit harmful lurking in many of them.

An investigation commissioned by the nonprofit Healthy Babies Bright Future or HBBF shockingly found that out of the 168 baby food products they tested, nearly all of them contained at least one toxic metal and some even contained four different toxic metals. These specific metals are arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead. All of these toxic metals are known to cause serious brain damage in infants and are something we even as adults do our best to stay away from.

The report notes as follows:

“Parents shop for baby food expecting the nutrition, convenience and baby-tested flavors of store-bought brands. But nearly every jar, pouch, and canister also offer something unexpected for a baby’s mealtime – traces of heavy metals, including arsenic and lead.”

The problem, uncovered nearly a decade ago, is far from solved. New tests of 168 baby foods commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) found toxic heavy metals in 95 percent of containers tested. One in four baby foods contained all four metals assessed by our testing lab—arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats. 

Fresh research continues to confirm widespread exposures and troubling risks for babies, including cancer and lifelong deficits in intelligence from exposures to these common food contaminants. Despite the risks, with few exceptions, there are no specific limits for toxic heavy metals in baby food.

In this study, it was found that 26 percent of baby foods tested contained 4 metals. From here around 40 percent contained 3 metals and 21 percent contained 2 metals. Only about 5 percent (9 foods) were found to be free of toxic metals. It is also important to note that lead was present in 94 percent of baby foods and Arsenic in 73 percent.

This kind of thing makes it very clear that changes need to be made. Toxins need to be reduced drastically in baby foods and while things are slowly changing, speeding up is the only way to really make a difference. We do not know what levels of these toxic metals would be or could be considered safe for babies and thus their presence in baby food should be nonexistent.

According to HBBF, if you want to choose safer baby foods and do your best to avoid this kind of toxic exposure for your children try not to opt for things made with rice flour as a whole. Don’t buy rice cereals, rusks, or puffs in regards and try to limit carrots and sweet potatoes. Puff snacks, teething biscuits, and even fruit juice seem to have higher risk levels based on these findings. 

To see the report yourself feel free to click here. What do you think about all of this? I for one am quite blown away.