Transcript for Consumer Reports claims heavy metals were found in popular baby foods
And now to our “Gma” cover story, that parenting alert about popular packaged baby foods. Consumer reports tested dozens of them for traces of heavy metals like lead and they say the results are troubling. Paula Faris is here with more. Reporter: Good morning, everyone. So many of us give our young children foods. Consumer reports says that’s about 90% of us. Our babies and toddlers are especially vulnerable because of their size. Too much exposure to these heavy metals can lead to lower iq, behavioral issues and even autism and ADHD. Reporter: Some of the 50 popular packaged baby foods tested by consumer reports after they purchased three samples of each from retailers across the country. Consumer reports tested for heavy metals including lead, cad me yum, and inorganic arsenic and say they found at least one of these metals in all of the samples. This is of a concern because people should not have heavy elements or heavy metals in their food, particularly for their children. Reporter: Consumer reports concluded that 68% of the samples they studied had at least one heavy metal at levels they considered worrisome and 30% of the products raised concern with just one serving or less a day if consumed regularly. They expressed even more concern about snacks and products they tested which contain rice and sweet potatoes which they reported had higher levels of one or more of the heavy metals, particularly inorganic arsenic. They also say their analysis of organic food samples tested just as likely to contain the contaminants. Our message is balance. As a parent you should not be gravely alarmed by this, but it should be a bit of information that you use to make balanced, concerned choices for your children. Reporter: Consumer reports’ chief science office James Dickerson says these heavy metals can occur naturally and get absorbed into food from soil or could come from contaminants in the water and equipment used for processing of raw food. And if ingested regularly over time, these elements increase the risk for certain health problems, particularly for young children. These metals pose very specific risks for children because their brains are still developing. Our goal in an ideal world would be to limit and completely eliminate these metals from our food. Reporter: The following companies said they were dedicated to the safety and quality of their food products and follow the guidelines set by the food and drug administration and their own stricter internal standards. Gerber noted that trace amounts of elements occur naturally in our environment so it’s possible they can get into fruits, vegetables and greens as they grow. Beechnut told “Gma” after it received the consumer reports test results, it upgraded the requirements for its third party lab testing to help meet our goal of minimizing heavy metals as much as possible. Now, what consumer reports has done, they pointed out just how unregulated this market is. Children’s foods are not subject to stricter regulation and safety testing than other packaged foods, but Michael, the good news is the fda is working to change these guidelines maybe as early as the end of the year and all these manufacturers are all on board as well. That’s a good thing. As a parent you definitely want what’s best for your kids, thank you. Over to robin.
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