Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baby Food & Formula Contain Arsenic, Toxic Metals

STOCKHOLM-Infant formulas and foods may be posing a risk to developing babies, according to Swedish researchers who warned of the potentially adverse effects of elevated toxic and essential metal concentrations in infant formulas and foods in a new study published in the journal of Food Chemistry (J Food Chem. 2011 Aug 1;127(3):943- 951 DOI:10.1016/ j.foodchem. 2011.01.062) .

The study, led by Karin Ljung, Unit of Metals and Health, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, assessed concentrations in and intake of toxic and essential elements from formulas and foods intended for infants during their first 6 months of life. The researchers tested nine different brands of baby food and nine baby milk formulas. Companies
represented in the sample include major players, such as ORGANIX, HIPP, NESTLE, HEINZ AND HOLLE

In formula, they focused on concentrations of the essential elements calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and molybdenum and found all were significantly higher in most formulas than in breast milk. Daily intake of manganese from formula varies from 10 up to several hundred times the intake of the breast-fed infant, levels that may be associated with adverse health effects, they reported.

Next, they looked at baby food and found one portion of infant food provided significantly more iron, manganese, molybdenum, arsenic, cadmium (up to 150 times), lead (up to eight times) and uranium than one feeding of breast milk, but less calcium, copper and selenium. Rice-based products in particular contained elevated arsenic concentrations, some as high as 50 times higher than breast milk. They also noted if one adds drinking water, which is the usual way to prepare the mix powdered formula, it may add significantly to the concentrations of the elements in the ready-made products. [Iron Excesses deposit in the Central Nervous system where they are toxic.]

However, none of the levels of the toxic elements found in the foods or formulas exceeded official safety limits. According to an article in the Telegraph, this study prompted the Swedish
National Food Administration to conduct its own review of toxic elements and metals in baby food and food for older children, and the results will be reported to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission, which is responsible for setting food safety limits in Europe.


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