According to a U.S. Congressional report, some baby foods contain high levels of toxic metals, including more than 91 times the amount of arsenic that is permitted in bottled water, 177 times the amount of lead that is permitted, 69 times the amount of cadmium that is permitted, and five times the amount of mercury that is permitted.
Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, announced an investigation into the baby food companies Gerber, Beech-Nut, Hain (Earth’s Best Organic), and Nurture (HappyBABY) in April. She also sent letters to each of the companies asking for more information about the amounts of arsenic found in their products as well as their marketing and advertising strategies.
The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have long maintained that exposing infants and children to toxic heavy metals can result in a permanent decline in IQ, an increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behaviour, and untreatable and frequently permanent brain damage. This is true even though the manufacturers claim their products are safe and appropriately labelled.
Infant exposure to heavy metals is a severe problem. Children should never be exposed to lead at any level. Heavy metal exposure has been linked in the past to behavioural problems, brain damage, nervous system damage, seizures, growth problems, and even death.
The mothers assert that Gerber’s marketing claims and product labelling, which portray the products as “organic” and safe for consumption by babies without any warning that they contained metals that can disrupt neurological and developmental growth and possibly cause the onset of autism and attention deficit disorder, were the basis for their decision regarding which baby food to feed their infants (ADHD).