About 20 percent of baby food samples tested over a decade-long period had detectable levels of lead, according to a new report from Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit group.
The group evaluated data collected by the Food and Drug Administration from 2003 to 2013. This included 2,164 baby food samples. They found 89 percent of grape juice samples, 86 percent of sweet potatoes samples and 47 percent of teething biscuits samples contained detectable levels of lead.
“The levels we found were relatively low, but when you add them up — with all the foods children eat … it’s significant,” says study author Tom Neltner of the Environmental Defense Fund.
None of the baby food samples seemed to exceed the Food and Drug Administration’s allowable levels of lead. However, the FDA is in the process of reviewing its standards, and there’s concern that current standards do not reflect the latest science about the potential health risks, especially for young children.
“I think the onus is really on FDA and industry to change their standards to reflect what we know, that there is no safe lead level,” said pediatrician Jennifer Lowry. She chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health.
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