July 23, 2021

FDA Releases Action Plan to Reduce Heavy Metals in Baby Food

The FDA has released their Action Plan to reduce heavy metals in baby food and other foods that children eat. A report released by the United States House of Representatives in February found that commercials baby foods were "tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury." That report also stated that "Exposure to toxic heavy metals causes permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior in children. Toxic heavy metals endanger infant neurological development and long-term brain function." The action plan, called Closer to Zero, details the approach the government will take. The press release did insist that FDA testing found that children are … [Read more...]

FDA Announces Action Plan on Heavy Metals in Baby Food

After the U.S. House Subcommittee report that was issued last month about the amount of toxic heavy metals in baby food, the FDA is announcing new actions. The report found that four of the seven major baby foods made in this country have unacceptably high levels of cadmium, mercury, and lead. The remaining three corporations refused to supply information about their products. First, a letter to industry was issued reminding manufacturers of their responsibilities when producing these foods. And the agency will put a plan into action to reduce toxic elements in foods for babies and young children to levels "as low as is reasonably achievable." Manufacturer's responsibilities include considering risks from chemical hazards, including toxic elements, when conducting a hazard … [Read more...]

U.S. House Report Finds Baby Foods Tainted with Heavy Metals

A U.S. House subcommittee report finds that baby foods tainted with heavy metals are being sold to unsuspecting consumers. The report was issued on February 4, 2021 by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and the Committee on Oversight and Reform. The report states that companies were asked to provide information about internal testing on their products. Four complied. But Walmart, which sells Parent's Choice baby food; Sprout Organic Foods; and Campbell, which sells Plum Organics, refused to cooperate with the subcommittees' investigation. They did not provide testing results or standards. The report states that representatives have "grave concerns" about baby foods manufactured by those three companies that would not cooperate, stating "The Subcommittee is greatly … [Read more...]

Senator Schumer Concerned About Heavy Metals in Baby Food

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is urging the FDA to investigate a new report that states there are toxic heavy metals in baby foods. The government does not have regulation that would make industry to address this problem. That report, by Healthy Baby Food.org,  states that these metals, including arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium, are found in a wide variety of baby foods. According to the report, 95% of baby foods tested were contaminated by at least one of the heavy metals. One in four baby foods teated contains all four of the heavy metals. Only nine of 168 baby foods teated did not have any traces of these toxins. The products with the highest levels of contamination include fruit juices and rice-based products. Alarmingly, four of the seven infant rice cereals that were … [Read more...]

FDA Revises 2017 Fish Advice For Pregnant Women, Young Children

The FDA is revising its 2017 fish advice for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and young children, given the worries about mercury in fish. Dr. Susan Mayne, director of the FDA's Center of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement, "Fish and shellfish are an important part of a well-rounded diet. However, we know many consumers worry about mercury in fish and even choose to limit or avoid fish because of this concern. In fact, we have seen that women in the U.S. who are pregnant are consuming far less than the recommended amount of seafood." In 2017, the FDA released a reference chart to help consumers choose the types of fish to eat more or and less of because of their levels of mercury. The fish species are listed under Best Choices, Good Choices, and Choices to … [Read more...]

FDA and EPA Release Fish Consumption Advice

The FDA and EPA have issued advice about eating fish, geared toward pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, breastfeeding mothers, and parents of young children. The issue regarding fish consumption is mercury content. A reference chart sorts 62 types of fish into three categories: "Best choices" you can eat two to three times a week; "good choices" that you can eat once a week, and "fish to avoid." Fish in the "best choices" category include almost 90% of the fish eaten in this country. FDA conducted an analysis of fish consumption data and found that 50% of pregnant women surveyed ate less than 2 ounces a week. That is much less than the recommended amount. The nutritional benefits of eating fish are important for growth and development during pregnancy and early … [Read more...]

EWG Warns of Mercury in Seafood

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has produced a new study called "U.S. Fish Advice May Expose Babies to too Much Mercury." In it, they say that "adhering to the federal government's recommendations on seafood and mercury may be risky, potentially leading women to eat too much of the wrong kind of fish." The guidelines were issued as a draft recommendation in 2014 that recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding eat more fish that is lower in mercury. Their tests found that mothers who eat species of fish in the amounts recommended by the EPA and FDA may risk exposing their fetuses to harmful levels of mercury. And those species do not have enough omega-3 fatty acids that are recommended in the diet. Mercury has toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, … [Read more...]

Ayurvedic Supplements Recalled for Elevated Lead and Mercury

Butala Emporium of New York is voluntarily recalling eleven Ayurvedic dietary supplement because they contain elevated lead and mercury levels. These compounds can cause health problems for infants, small children, pregnant women, and people with underlying kidney disorders. The lead concentrate exceeds the recommended daily lead exposure for children under the age of 6 and for women of childbearing age. The mercury levels in this product, with short term use, can cause kidney, stomach, and intestinal symptoms. Using these products for more than a month could be lethal. Mercury consumption at these levels can cause psychiatric and personality disturbances, ataxia, visual loss, hearing loss, and other neurological conditions. You can see the long list of recalled products, along with … [Read more...]

Environmental Working Group Releases Seafood Guide

Environmental Working Group has released a "Good Seafood Guide" that helps consumers consume fish and shellfish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, low in mercury, and harvested from sustainable sources. The agency offers a calculator, a guide to seafood, and an FAQ on how much seafood people should eat. The calculator lets you input weight, age, gender, pregnancy status, and heart disease condition. A personalized list of which fish to eat will be generated which includes more than 80 species. The seafood is divided into five categories: Best Bets, which include wild salmon and sardines; Good Choices, which include Oysters and Pollock; Low Mercury but Low Omega-3s, which include Shrimp, Tilapia, and Scallops; Mercury Risks Add Up, which include Halibut and Lobster; and Avoid, which … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports States Pregnant Women Should Not Eat Tuna

Consumer Reports has published a special report about eating fish and mercury exposure. They say that to limit your risk, choose the right fish. And they advise pregnant women to avoid eating tuna altogether. They also recommend that anyone who eats 24 ounces or more of fish per week should avoid species high in mercury. Almost all seafood contains the toxic metal in different amounts. Too much mercury can damage the brain and nervous system, especially in children and fetuses. Adults who consume too much mercury can have problems with speech, sleep, walking, and fine motor coordination. More than 95% of the methylmercury in seafood is absorbed into your body when you eat it. Mercury levels in the northern Pacific Ocean have increased by 30% in the past 20 years, and are expected to … [Read more...]

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