New Report: 20% Of Baby Food Contains Lead vs 14% Of “Adult” Food
A new report by the Environmental Defense Fund concluded that 20% of baby food contains lead.
By analyzing thousands of food samples over 10 years (2003-2013), the EDF found that baby food had a higher proportion of samples containing detectable levels of lead (20% of 2,164) than did other foods (14% of 10,064).
In some cases, food marked specifically for babies had higher lead detection rates than did similar products that were not (presumably for adults).
For example, 89% of samples of grape juice for babies contained detectable levels of lead as opposed to 68% of samples of grape juice for adults. The same pattern arose in whole foods such as carrots for babies (44%) vs carrots for adults (14%).
Have a look at the some of the detectable levels of lead in some popular baby foods.
The findings did show what foods are more likely to contain lead than others. For example, baby formula (6%) and cereal (4%) showed much lower lead detection rates than did root vegetables (65%) and fruits (29%).
Although the study did not conclude that food marketed to babies had a higher likelihood of containing lead than food otherwise marketed, it did recommend additional follow up research tackle that question.
Is Lead Safe For Consumption?
The Food and Trug Administration has an outdated view of lead consumption.
The FDA still uses the 1993 standard of 6 μg/day as their Provisional Tolerable Total Dietary Intake level (PTTDI) for lead for young children. This is based off of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Level of Concern of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.
This is contrary to evidence, from as early as 2012, that show much less lead can result in learning problems in young children.
A National Toxicology Program review showed that blood lead levels less than 5 μg/dL lead to:
“decreased academic achievement, IQ, and specific cognitive measures; increased incidence of attention- related behaviors and problem behaviors.”
Also more recently, the CDC itself concluded that there is no safe level of lead in children’s blood.
The FDA should seriously consider revising its allowable level of lead in children’s food as well as other food in general.