A new report Thursday reveals tests of 168 baby foods, including many organic brands (see list below), sold at U.S. food retailers showed 95 percent contain neurotoxic contaminants that lower babies’ IQ, including arsenic and lead.
“Even in the trace amounts found in food, these contaminants can alter the developing brain and erode a child’s IQ. The impacts add up with each meal or snack a baby eats,” said the report from a nonprofit called Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which commissioned the tests.
The report said 95 percent of the 168 samples tested contained lead, 73 percent contained arsenic, 75 percent contained cadmium, and 32 percent contained mercury.
Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the report said.
“Notably, parents can’t shop their way out of these exposures by choosing organic foods or by switching from store-bought brands to homemade purees,” said the report. “Organic standards do not address these contaminants, and foods beyond the baby food aisle are equally affected.”
Here is a partial list of organic baby food products tested and the number of heavy metals detected (in descending order):
- Beech-Nut Organics Just Carrots: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- NurturMe Organic Quinoa Cereals – Quinoa + Sweet Potato + Raisin: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- HappyBABY Superfood Puffs – Apple & Broccoli Organic Grain Snack – for crawling baby: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- HappyBABY Superfood Puffs Organic Grain Snack: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- Healthy Times Organic Brown Rice Cereal: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- BioKinetics Brown Rice Organic Sprouted Whole Grain: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- HappyBABY Organic Rice Cakes Puffed Rice Snack – Apple Snack: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury
- Earth’s Best Spinach and Potato Organic Baby Food: arsenic, lead, cadmium
- HappyBABY Oats & Quinoa Baby Cereal Organic Whole Grains: arsenic, lead, cadmium
- Plum Organics Mighty Morning Bar – Blueberry Lemon – Tots: arsenic, lead, cadmium
- HappyBABY Oatmeal Baby Cereal, Organic Whole Grains: arsenic, cadmium
- Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity: lead, cadmium
Check out the full list of baby food products, including organic, that tested for the four heavy metals.
The report said “simple actions” for five foods can help lower babies’ exposures to arsenic, lead and other toxic heavy metals: