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Arsenic and toxic metals found in baby foods



Arsenic and toxic metals found in baby foods
Arsenic and toxic metals found in baby foods
Researchers found feeding infants twice a day on the shop-bought baby foods such as rice porridge can increase their exposure to arsenic by up to fifty times when compared to breast feeding alone

Processed foods are good for no one. Especially babies whose brains and nervous system are still fragile and undeveloped. Here’s an article from the Telegraph.


Arsenic and toxic metals found in baby foods

Baby foods used to wean infants off milk have been found to contain “alarming” levels of toxic contaminants including arsenic, lead and cadmium.

Last night there were calls for urgent new safety rules to control the presence of the poisons in foods intended for young children.

The findings come as officials at the Food Standards Agency and the European Commission are conducting an urgent review to establish new limits for the long term exposure of these contaminants in food.

The products tested by the researchers were made by major baby food manufacturers including Organix, Hipp, Nestle and Holle – some of which are available in British supermarkets.

Researchers found feeding infants twice a day on the shop-bought baby foods such as rice porridge can increase their exposure to arsenic by up to fifty times when compared to breast feeding alone.

Exposure to other toxic metals such as cadmium, which is known to cause neurological and kidney damage, increased by up to 150 times in some of the foods tested by Swedish scientists, while lead increased by up to eight times.

Although none of the levels of the toxic elements found in the foods exceeded official safety limits, scientists believe they are still of concern if fed to very young children and have demanded new guidelines to restrict their presence in food.

Young infants are thought to be particularly vulnerable to these substances because they are going through rapid development.

Writing in the journal of Food Chemistry, the scientists from the Unit of Metals and Health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, where the research was carried out, said: “Alarmingly, these complementary foods may also introduce high amounts of toxic elements such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and uranium, mainly from their raw materials.

“These elements have to be kept at an absolute minimum in food products intended for infant consumption.

“In infant foods, the high concentrations of arsenic in the rice-based foods are of particular concern.”

Experts now believe there are no safe limits for arsenic and manufacturers should be making more efforts to remove it from their food.

Professor Andrew Meharg, a biogeochemist at Aberdeen University who has studied the presence of arsenic in rice, said the latest research highlighted the urgent need for new restrictions on arsenic and other toxic elements in food.

He said: “For an adult with an average consumption of rice every day, it makes little difference, but for young babies who are the most vulnerable receptors we should be doing everything we can to reduce that risk. You don’t want DNA damage during infant development.

“There are ways to decrease the toxic load in food. It is only recently that we have started using rice in baby foods and formulas. You can reduce the arsenic in infant foods very rapidly by sourcing the rice from different parts of the world. You can reduce it by four or five fold by carefully selecting the right rice.”

The researchers tested nine different brands of baby food, which were intended to be fed to children from the age of four months old, and nine baby milk formulas.

They found that when compared to breast milk, the baby foods had elevated levels of toxic contaminants measured in micrograms – a millionth of a gram, or 35 billionths of an ounce.

The daily safe intake limit for arsenic was set by the World Health Organisation as two micrograms for every kilogram of body weight, but this was suspended earlier this year amid growing evidence that arsenic can cause cancer even at low levels.

The limits for lead have also been suspended while those for cadmium are one microgram for every kilogram of body weight.

Arsenic and the other heavy metals found in the study are often found in food as they are absorbed from the soil by plants such as rice, wheat and oats.

Among the baby foods found to contain elevated levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead in the tests by the researchers was Organix First Organic Whole Grain Baby Rice, which they found contained two micrograms of arsenic per portion, along with 0.03 micrograms of cadmium and 0.09 micrograms of lead. This product is sold by Boots in the UK.

HiPP Organic Peach and Banana Breakfast porridge, which is sold by supermarkets in the UK including Tesco, contained 1.7 micrograms of arsenic, 0.13 micrograms of cadmium and 0.33 micrograms of lead.

Holle Organic Rice Porridge, which is sold by specialist retailers, was found to contain 7.3 micrograms of arsenic per portion – the highest found in the study – along with 0.38 micrograms of cadmium and 0.26 micrograms of lead.

The Swedish National Food Administration is now conducting its own review of toxic elements and metals in baby food and food for older children as a result of the research. The results will be reported to the European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission, which is responsible for setting food safety limits.

The Sunday Telegraph contacted each of the major manufacturers of leading brands of baby food sold in the UK but most refused to reveal the levels of toxic contaminants found in their products. Heinz, Cow & Gate, Nestle, and HiPP all insisted their foods contained levels that were within safety limits.

Dr Karin Ljung, who led the Swedish research, said: “The producers will say they are not above any guideline values and it is true – they are following all the rules.

“The trouble is that the guidelines are not based on infant exposure. As we are getting more information coming out, it is may be time to reconsider what these safety limits are.”

She added that breast feeding until babies were six months old appeared to be the best way to keep infants’ exposure to these toxic contaminants as low as possible as they seemed to be filtered out by the mothers’ body.

There are currently no EU-wide regulations for arsenic levels in food after the European Food Safety Authority ruled that previous safety limits were inadequate.

Jackie Schneider, from the Children’s Food Campaign, said: “We expect full transparency from baby food manufacturers and are disappointed that they are choosing to not share the relevant data.

“Parents aren’t stupid and they deserve to be given the facts so they can make an informed choice”

A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency said previous reviews of the levels of toxic elements in baby food found them to be present at low levels.

He added: “The Agency is actively engaging with the European Commission to review and establish long term limits for these environmental contaminants in food.”

A spokesman for the British Specialist Nutrition Association, the trade body for baby food producers in the UK, said: “BSNA members carefully select and control their ingredients as well as the baby food, to ensure they are safe for infants.

“That selection of suitable ingredients ensures the lowest possible occurrence of certain naturally-occurring substances. Ingredients that do not meet stringent specifications are not used in baby foods.”

A spokesman for HiPP insisted the levels of arsenic and cadmium in their Organic Peach and Banana Breakfast porridge were under the official daily intake limits and so were safe as part of a daily diet.

She said: “The levels of cadmium and arsenic in HiPP products are safe and all raw materials are routinely tested following the strictest quality criteria.”

A spokesman for Organix said: “Organix operates rigorous finished food testing to ensure food safety is monitored regularly. This includes testing for elements, microbiological, allergen and pesticide residues.

“Our further testing of finished foods and raw materials show ALL results conform to the current UK food standard. We continue to monitor both our own internal results together with those of our suppliers.

“Please rest assured that we fully assess both the Food Standards Agency’s guidelines and any new research and will continue to do so.”

A spokesman for Plum added: “Sampling of our recipe shows levels for arsenic are well below those in this latest study, and again these are well within the generally regarded safe and acceptable limits.”

Nestle said it did not recommend the use of it infant cereals before six months of age, but they carefully selected their raw materials to ensure substances absorbed from the soil were as low as possible.


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I wish someone would have taught me about organic foods sooner! But I was in government daycare, so they don't teach important stuff like that.

[Psst, consider almond milk instead of cow's milk. That stuff is no good for your body (: ]

WOA just saw propaganda commercial for Aquafresh… they have new "Fluoride Free Training Toothpaste" BAHAHA yeah so they are like "eh, kids can't handle the toxic stress so let's hook 'em onto our product so when they are older they won't ask questions!"



thank you exact agreement on the milk


Thank you VC. You are heaven sent. These are the times of the world ending. Lord have mercy on us all. I'm starting to believe what Jehovahs say, that we are already living in hell.


What is this western earth coming to … Guess it's a evil cycle they feed our kids crap treat them then say we found a new cure for this cancer …. It all Devil work… Can't wait for 2012 they will pay for their Evil Work


For reasons beyond my control, there's a possibility I may not be able to breast feed my children in the future 🙁

I really want to, but it just may not be possible.

Anyway, what's the best alternative? I really do not want to feed my infant any of this toxic rubbish.


a vegan diet, make your own porridges

Sarah Connor

Just be careful with the soy formulas – soy is a hormone disruptor and it's like giving 5 birth control pills to a baby. Here are a ton of articles on the dangers of soy – and it's usually gmo.

I did have to feed formula to my first after 6 months and did a ton of research before finding this brand – I recommend it and it isn't more expensive, you just have to buy a case at a time.


recommendation to a child that is allegric to the milk. I do almond milk and rice and coconut milk.


I think some of these people/mothers commenting on this report may need to read it again, because last time I checked this report was about how companies have high levels of toxins in their baby food not a debate about breast being best. At the end of the day when babies get to an older age they need more solid foods not just milk, be it breast or formula.

A mother/father can choose to feed her/his baby freshly produced food that is made by themselves instead of babyfood, and this article is excellent at warning parents, even though most if not all food is full of chemicals nowadays. Thank you Vigilant.

I have to say if you breast fed your baby well done then, good for you but dont make other mothers look bad for giving formula to their baby because not everyone is able to breastfeed!


thank you. I tried six weeks with my daughter on breast feeding, turned out she had an allergic reactionto milk. I did change my best to change diet but she still got sick an threw up. I did finally after going through hell for eight weeks, for the doctors were telling me that there . was no way she could beallergic to the milk.i had to go through four doctors before one would any sirt of test to figure out what was wrong. they put her a soy formula after trying and not first please do understand that I did breast feed from day onethat she was born. formula I hated and disdained it. I did not trust formula period. butI Ithink I would rather her be able to eat than nothing at all. I did switch her to almond milk and am happy overall when she was eleven months and got her off the formula b.they asked if I wanted he to ne on a toddler formula, I said no,breastfeeding is the first choiceI wanted to do but due to her allergies it was not s good fit.


I grew up in the Islands (St.Croix USVI) and we weren't raised on can foods and baby foods. It was boiled and mashed up for us to eat. i.e. Pumpkins, potato, casava etc….


you know there are some women who can breast feed but for one reason or another they make the rong choice. but, imagine being a woman who has an illness that passes via breast-milk. imagine having to make the choice, shall i infect my baby myself or use formula and not know what risk i am taking.


If used correctly, formula isn't dangerous like that. My cousin was lactose intolerant (allergic to her mother's breastmilk), so formula was the only way she could go. She turned out healthy and fine.


In today's world it is getting harder and harder each year to be a good parent and to do what's best for kids. I know many young people who are in fact scared to have kids in the current situation, because they doubt if the present world is a good place for a new baby to be born into. Such kind of thinking only serves the interests of the elite and the goals of their depopulation policy. In my point of view such articles as this are necessary as wake-up calls for the current parents and also parents-to-be, but shouldn't be the triggers of the"mean world syndrome". Being a good thoughtful parent today is the biggest challenge of all, but it is sure worth it.


There's never been a good time in history to be a parent.

WW1? Nope.

WW2? Nope.

During the Holocaust? Nope.

During slavery? Nope.

But people go on having children because children are HOPE.

If you do the best you can, your child is better off than most 🙂

Don't be put off being a parent because of the world.

Humans rose out of the swamps from nothing to be where we are now.


VC where would we be without you. Thank you sooo much for bringing these issues to the forefront!! Thank you guys! (p.s. Keep those tweets comming!)


If they are trying to depopulate then why does the life expectancy keep rising? The world isn't perfect people, but its better than it was years ago.


Thanks for this article as a new father cant have enough information about what my lil man eats. VC you always make me happy I came to check out whats new Thanks again.



"Experts now believe there are no safe limits for arsenic"

Who Knew??


I never knew that But I didn't feel comfortable feeding my baby something bottled and not fresh

I just boil and puree any fruit or vegetable or just give him to nibble on something.


Everything is poisoned, but if one has a choice to avoid it, do you not feel it would be entirely prudent to do so?


I make my own baby food, but then we still have to worry about monsanto… anything safe anymore??

Howard Beale

Children from 1 year on can eat whatever you’re eating. Just make sure that you cook healthy and you won’t have to feed your child that baby garbage food. And you don’t need any baby bullits eihter.


My kids exclusively breastfed for 7 months. They didn't even had water, only breast milk. They didn't like the Hipp organic rice porridge but I used to give them for brekfast hipp organic banana oats porridge. If I only knew. Anyway, they carried on with breastfeeding until the age of 3. I used the infant formula Hipp organic again only to mix with the same brand porridge. And the price of products such as organix and hippo are much higher than nestle and cow gate being allegedly organic. I was buying the Hipp formula to get some iron as the breastfed infants don't get enough of it and my first born one was a bit anemic at 9 months. I'm very annoyed with all these and I wish I knew earlier on but thinking of it unless you grow everything yourself, you can't be sure with them and all their lies.


Thisis why my family always pray and give thanks to God before we eat at meals, or if we feed younger siblings. Glory to God, he will take away what is used to harm people.


This makes me so sad, in a world we live in today where we are advised to start weaning between 4 and 6 months old, specialists can't even agree when is the correct time to start. Ideally about 12 months old is better when a child can sit unaided and grasp food with their hands and they have the coordination to put food to mouth and chew.

We live in a world where mothers rely on cows to make milk for their babies and companies to produce formula milk and plastic bottles. Mothers no longer trust themselves to nourish their babies from their bodies alone and undermined by advertising and hearsay from other mothers that are sold the same old myths.

We live in societies where breasts are sexualised and women regard breast feeding as disgusting and unnatural and women are ostracised for breast feeding in public. Eating has become an antisocial event where we all sit down glued to the TV watching these adverts full of healthy mothers and babies, being told how great these baby foods and formulas are.


Thank God it is now unlawful in the Philippines to advertise infant formula, and infant formula is banned in state hospitals to encourage moms to breastfeed their babies.


I'm not sure if it's been banned completely in hospitals in Britain but I know in some hospitals it is actually banned, my sister had to bring in her own sterilizing unit, bottles and formula into the hospital when she gave birth. And it's now illegal to advertise formula milk for babies under 6 months old, they have to show an older baby using a training cup and they're no longer allowed to give pregnant mothers free sachets and pamphlets for different brands of formula milk.

But advertising is clever and they have lots of ways to get around this not to mention the amount of misguided advice I hear from so many mothers, who buy into "expert" advice.

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