Lead in Food

Lead in Food: A Hidden Health Threat

Moms Clean Air Force

BY ON June 15, 2017

Our core issues are air pollution and climate change, but in our work to protect children’s health we were surprised to learn that food is a source of young children’s exposure to lead.

New research from Environmental Defense Fund, our parent organization, explores the problem of lead in baby food. We are reposting their article about the research here in full because we think it’s so important. No safe level of lead has been identified. Even very low blood lead levels can lead to behavioral problems and lower IQ.

Lead has no place in a child’s diet! Please call the customer service number of the company that makes your baby food. FDA allowable levels are not good enough.

Here’s what you can say: “I don’t want lead in my baby’s food – no matter what FDA says is permissible. Can you assure me that you have tested your food for lead and that it meets the guidelines laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics for no more than 1 ppb of lead?”


Food is a meaningful – and surprising – source of young children’s exposure to lead.

No safe level of lead in blood has been identified. In children, even very low blood lead levels can cause behavioral problems and lower IQ. Protecting children’s ability to learn and thrive demands that we find effective ways to reduce exposures to lead from all sources.

EDF analyzed 11 years of data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and found that food, and baby food in particular, is a meaningful – and surprising – source of lead. If it were eliminated completely, we estimate the societal benefits at more than $27 billion annually.

Key findings

EDF‘s analysis of 11 years of FDA data found:

  • Lead was detected in 20% of baby food samples compared to 14% for other foods.
  • Eight types of baby foods had detectable lead in more than 40% of samples.
  • Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions.

EDF also found that more than 1 million children consume more lead than FDA’s limit. Eliminating lead in food would save society more than $27 billion annually in total lifetime earnings from saved IQ points.

What we did

EDF evaluated data collected and analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2003 to 2013 as part of the agency’s Total Diet Study (TDS). Since the 1970s, the TDS has tracked metals, pesticides, and nutrients in food. While we evaluated all types of food collected by FDA, we focused on types of baby food because infants are most vulnerable to lead.

What we found

Overall, 20% of 2,164 baby food samples and 14% of the other 10,064 food samples had detectable levels of lead. At least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of baby food analyzed by FDA had detectable levels of lead in it. Lead was most commonly found in the following baby foods types:

  • Fruit juices: 89% of grape juice samples contained detectable levels of lead, mixed fruit (67%), apple (55%), and pear (45%)
  • Root vegetables: Sweet potatoes (86%) and carrots (43%)
  • Cookies: Arrowroot cookies (64%) and teething biscuits (47%)

We also found that the baby food versions of apple and grape juice and of carrots had samples with detectable lead more often than the regular versions.

Juice with detectable level of lead

Recommendations

Both FDA and food producers can and must do better to reduce lead in food, especially baby food.

EDF recommends that FDA:

  • Ensure lead is not added to any food contact material where it is reasonably expected to get into food;
  • Make clear that the international standards for fruit juice are inadequate;
  • Update its limits and food safety guidance to reflect current scientific understanding of lead risks that better protect children; and
  • Encourage manufacturers to reduce lead levels in food and take enforcement action when limits are exceeded.

Manufacturers need not wait for FDA to act. EDF recommends companies:

  • Set a goal of less than 1 ppb of lead in baby food and other foods marketed to young children;
  • Continue to prioritize lead contaminant minimization when sourcing ingredients;
  • Test more frequently during processing to identify additional sources of lead and take appropriate corrective actions; and
  • Publicly commit to consumers to drive down lead levels through health-protective limits and robust product stewardship.

In the meantime, parents of young children should consult with their child’s pediatrician to learn about all the ways to reduce lead exposure. They should also check with their favorite brands to ask whether the company:

  • Regularly tests its products for lead; and
  • Ensures that, especially for baby food, there is less than 1 ppb of lead in the food and juices they sell.

Healthy eating requires safe, nutritious food. (Tweet this) Lead has no place in a child’s diet.

Download the report [PDF]

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TOPICS: Children’s Health, Politics, Toxics

FYI: The Site that Simplifies Meal-Giving in Pressing Times – Johnny Jet

Meal Train isn’t a travel website per se, but it’s nonetheless useful tool for anyone who has loved ones far away and who can’t be close to support them during a pressing time. One of the nic…

Source: The Site that Simplifies Meal-Giving in Pressing Times – Johnny Jet

EWG Petition Re: BPA

Tell the Senate to Label BPA

Halimah Allah,

The dangers of the toxic chemical bisphenol A are no secret.

Even tiny amounts of BPA can disrupt the endocrine system. It has been linked to a wide variety of ills, including infertility, cancer, obesity, diabetes, early puberty, behavioral changes in children and resistance to chemotherapy.

In other words, it has no place anywhere in our food or food packaging – yet it continues to be used to coat the insides of most of the 131 billion food and beverage cans made in the U.S. annually.

The good news is, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced the BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act, a bill that would require food companies to label packaging that contains BPA.

Click here to tell your senators you have a right to know about BPA in food packaging. Tell them to support S. 821.

This important bill would not only make sure consumers know which food packages contain BPA, but also instruct the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the hazards of trace exposures to BPA through food packaging.

Last year, EWG scientists scrutinized more than 250 canned food brands and found that more than a third of them were still using BPA-based epoxy can linings for all their products.

The BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act would make sure American consumers know which products contain BPA and would empower the FDA to investigate and regulate it.

Tell your senators: Support S. 821, the BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act.

Thanks for standing with us,

Ken Cook
President, EWG

(TYH Note:  This Post Is For Information Only)

FYI: A “Seeds of Change” Initiative

At Seeds of Change®, we are passionate about growing good food. We are also committed to helping teach children where food comes from and how it is grown.

You spoke, we listened.Based on overwhelming requests for the Sowing Millions, Growing Minds initiative to be available to a broader audience, we’re making seeds available to non-profit schools from Pre-K through Grade 12. The Sowing Millions, Growing Minds initiative will also be available to Home School Groups* with a minimum of 10 students. To participate in the program, click here.

*Home School Groups:
Please email us at http://www.seedsofchange.com/contact_us.aspx. Select “Program Inquiry” as Type of Inquiry, and please include the number of students in your group to receive a special code needed to participate in the Sowing Millions, Growing Minds program.

GIVE & LEARN

Feeding the Hungry

HORN OF AFRIKA
  

OUR EARTH EVERYDAY

Links

PEOPLE’S EARTH-DAY
Urban Alliance for Sustainability
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GREEN LIVING
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SOLAR LIVING
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SEEDS OF CHANGE
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WOMEN’S GLOBAL STRIKE
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GRAMEEN BANK
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GLOBAL CITIZENS
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GIVE & LEARN

  Award:  20 grains of Rice Per Word

Here’s a fun, easy and educational way to help alleviate

world hunger. Get out those dictionaries and start giving
while you learn.  No registration or sign ins required!



Click this link to seek how you can make your contribution:

http://www.freerice.com

DC Produce Cooperative

DC Produce Cooperative
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dcproducecoop/

"The basic idea of the cooperative is to give the public
a chance to get Fresh Fruits and Vegetables at
better prices and quality than the markets or the store."

In the era of irradiated, genetically engineered, processed,
cloned, poison sprayed, altered, hybrid, grafted food products
foods direct from the farm is an old idea that’s worthy of a
a new consideration, coast to coast!

Peace.