NY attorney general launches probe into toxic substances found in baby food

Local News

NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched a probe into several baby food manufacturers following reports of toxic substances found in baby food sold in the state.

James requested information from companies that make Gerber, Beech-Nut, Earth’s Best Organic (Hain) and HappyBABY (Nurture) brands, to examine whether or not infant rice cereal products sold in New York contain high levels of inorganic arsenic.

“No child should be exposed to toxic substances in their food,” said Attorney General James. “Baby food manufacturers have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the safety of their products, and provide peace-of-mind to the parents who rely on their products every day. Through this probe, I am committed to protecting the health and wellness of the next generation.”

James has asked the companies to provide information on inorganic arsenic levels, including the practices, policies and standards used for testing for inorganic arsenic in its infant rice cereal projects and ingredients sold in New York state.

Companies have also been asked to provide information regarding advertising materials pertaining to rice cereal products and communications concerning inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal.

A congressional investigation earlier this year found levels of arsenic, lead and other toxic metals in many popular baby foods, including organic brands. 

The data showed levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers those harmful to human health. The metals can remain in the environment for decades from past pesticide and herbicide use.

Baby food makers and the FDA say the metals are in many foods, and they are making progress in removing them.

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