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Toxic metals in baby food? Colorado's attorney general wants FDA to take action

23 state attorneys general petitioning FDA for testing and better regulations
Toxic metals in baby food? Colorado's attorney general wants FDA to take action
Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 07:34:58-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Is baby food on your shopping list? Or do you know someone who has young children? News5 looks into why there are some major concerns about the baby food on store shelves right now and what's being found in it.

When it comes to baby food most parents assume if it's on the store shelves there's nothing to worry about. Well, not necessarily. Colorado's attorney general is warning about toxic heavy metals found in baby foods and is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to step up regulations.

"The idea that there are toxic metals in baby food is an alarm bell for all of us," said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

The FDA does set limits on toxic metals in other consumable products, but Colorado's attorney general says a recent U.S. House of Representatives investigation is evidence the agency has failed to adequately regulate baby food, while major baby food brands and their suppliers have also failed to aggressively reduce these hazards.

"They found evidence that we have arsenic, lead, other dangerous metals in baby food. The FDA has the authority to oversee baby food and make sure it's safe. We need them to use that authority," said Weiser.

While Colorado's attorney general fights for change, parents here in southern Colorado are also concerned.

"We've basically had to throw out baby food and started looking for other options," said Colorado Springs mother Cosette Kirkpatrick. "My one-year-old has his check up with our pediatrician. I'm just going to go in there and ask do you have any other suggestions for us on baby food options.">

Up until recently, Kirkpatrick had baby food on her shopping list.

"In fact the baby food that we predominantly used we found out was on that list that conained heavy metals and we were told that the baby food was one of the best in the business, it was wonderful and in fact it has the heavy metals, so that's very concerning as a parent," said Kirkpatrick.

As she researched which baby foods had toxic metal issues she says it was across the board.

"It was baby food from the cheaper brands all the way to the more expensive and it's one of those things where across the board there needs to be accountability for that baby food," said Kirkpatrick.

That accountability is what Colorado's attorney general is also after, asking for stronger regulations including requiring all baby food manufacturers to test their finished products for toxic heavy metals.

"I feel like the best thing companies can do is to submit for testing and be able to show our baby food is good, you can trust us," said Kirkpatrick.

News5 is told the soonest these new FDA regulations on baby food could go into effect is April of 2022. So, in the meantime it's important for caretakers to do their research to make the best decision for their babies.

Here are some resources that can help you get answers and connect with other parents to make the decisions that are best for your family when it comes to baby food...

More information from the Colorado Attorney General's Office

Co Springs Mom Collective is a place families can learn information and share ideas with other families

NBC News Report: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/some-baby-foods-have-high-levels-toxic-heavy-metals-report-n1256778

Consumer Reports research:
https://www.consumerreports.org/baby-food/baby-food-and-heavy-metals-advice-for-parents-a1523214531/