CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE CALLS ON FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) TO TAKE ACTION TO ENSURE SAFETY OF BABY FOOD
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Joe Morelle is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action in response to a troubling recent report demonstrating that baby foods from major United States manufacturers contained alarming amounts of toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury.
“One of our fundamental responsibilities as adults is to ensure the health and safety of our children—and this alarming study shows that we are failing,” said Rep. Morelle. “As a grandfather, I am deeply disturbed by the findings that baby foods from major manufacturers include toxic levels of chemicals like lead and arsenic. The FDA must take immediate action to address this and ensure the health and safety of our children.”
The report, conducted by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, showed that one fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium) and one in five baby foods tested had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead—although experts have noted that there is no safe level of lead. These dangerous chemicals can result in lifelong damage and impairment to children whose immune systems are still developing.
In a letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D., Rep. Morelle calls on the FDA to immediately establish and finalize health-protective standards for heavy metals as well as implement a proactive testing program for heavy metals in foods consumed by babies and toddlers. In 2016, the FDA proposed limits for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal but has not finalized the rule.
“When parents buy food at the grocery store, they trust that what’s on the shelf is regulated and safe for consumption,” continued Rep. Morelle. “I urge the FDA to take action to restore the public trust and do everything in their power to keep dangerous contaminants out of the mouths of vulnerable children.”