Senate bill would limit harmful heavy metals in baby food

The Baby Food Safety Act of 2024 would allow the Food and Drug Administration to increase standards for baby foods to protect infants and toddlers from toxic heavy metals and other potential contaminants.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

May 12, 2024, 1:59 PM

Updated 14 days ago

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Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill this week that calls for stricter regulation on the amounts of heavy metals found in baby food.
The Baby Food Safety Act of 2024 would allow the Food and Drug Administration to increase standards for baby foods to protect infants and toddlers from toxic heavy metals and other potential contaminants.
The bill would allow the agency to set strict standards for sampling and testing products and increase their ability to enforce higher safety standards for commercial baby food along with imported products.
Currently, baby food products that contain what is considered an unhealthy amount of heavy metals – including arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium – do not need to have that information printed on labels. Additionally, the FDA only has set limits for heavy metals in infant rice cereal and juice.
The agency has said that having zero heavy metals in baby food may not be possible because elements and heavy metals can occur naturally in the soil of produce and grains that go into baby food.
Doctors say when children ingest excessive amounts of heavy metals, it can impact their brain development, behavior and their ability to learn.
Anyone that believes their child has been exposed to excessive amounts of heavy metals should speak with their child's pediatrician about a blood or urine test, health officials say. In many cases, the tests are covered by insurance.


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