Archive for the ‘Baby food’ Category

Service of Arsenic in Baby Food

Thursday, October 21st, 2021


Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

In upper school I read that some Victorian women took a tiny bit of arsenic to make their skin whiter. The poison accumulated in body tissue with adverse results. I remembered this because I couldn’t get why anyone would want to be whiter. At the time there was almost nothing I wanted more than to be tan. But I digress.


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

Period manufacturers added arsenic to paint and wallpaper–not healthy–and it was many a murderer’s favorite ingredient. Think Amy Archer-Gilligan the serial killer celebrated in the 1944 movie “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Archer-Gilligan, who was said to have killed between 20 and 100 people, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1919 and lived until 1962.

So I sat up straight when I saw Allison Prang’s Wall Street Journal article “House Subcommittee Hits Baby-Food Makers Over High Metal Content,” with subhead “Report by Democratic members calls out companies over arsenic levels, recalls and product-testing requirements.”

Prang reported: “Some top baby-food makers didn’t appropriately recall products that contained higher arsenic levels than allowed by the government, according to a recent congressional report.”

She noted: “Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury naturally occur in soil and water. Baby-food makers have said their products contain these metals at safe levels.”


Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay  

Consumer Reports added some information:

  • Can manufacturers exacerbate the situation adding to the damage of naturally occurring metals? CR: “parts of the manufacturing process, including the addition of vitamins and mineral mixes, may be contributing to the problem.”
  • According to CR, the process to remove toxic heavy metals “isn’t effective enough.”
  • More info about where heavy metals come from. CR:  “most of the heavy metals in food come from soil or water that has been contaminated through either farming and manufacturing practices (such as pesticide application, mining, and smelting) or pollution (such as the use of leaded gasoline).”
  • CR maintained it’s possible to manufacture food with low/acceptable levels.
  • Babies’ brains, minds, immune and cardiovascular systems can be harmed possibly lowering IQ and creating behavior problems and ADHD. There’s also risk for skin and bladder cancer.
  • Are some foods more prone than others? CR: Yes: rice, sweet potatoes, apple juice, and grape juice.
  • And if you make your own baby food? CR says it will “eliminate the risk of any heavy metals from additives used in the food” but may not lower them in the child’s diet and depending on the food may increase them.

I’m equally amazed and appalled that major companies didn’t recall foods identified for having unacceptable levels of arsenic and other heavy metals. What marketer can live with these decisions? How dare these people jeopardize the health of babies and the reputations of the well-know brands they represent?


Image by 5686750 from Pixabay 

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