Garden City Park, NY: It was reported this morning (Wed., Oct. 25) that a major study, conducted by new nonprofit organization The Clean Label Project, has found alarming levels of arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals in approximately eighty percent (80%) of infant formulas sold on the market. Some of the baby food brands found by the study to have the largest amounts of these harmful toxins in their products include Gerber, Enfamily, and Plum Organics among others. According to the World Health Organization, arsenic in particular is associated with a higher occurrence of autism, ADHD, heart issues, diabetes, and cancer among children and adults alike.
If you are former FDA investigator and Unsafe at Any Meal (Square One, $16.95) author Dr. Renee Dufault, however, the results of this study only scratch the surface of a much more disturbing and far-reaching picture in consumer health. Her own research in this area actually dates back over a decade to 2005, when she was still working as a health investigator for the Food and Drug Administration. That was the year when she discovered that baby formula was comprised largely of corn sweeteners and vegetable oil. As she notes in chapter six of her book ("Spotlight on Autism and ADHD"), many baby formulas "contain corn sweetener in the form of corn syrup or corn syrup solids. Some formulas contain more corn sweetener than any other ingredient. I found one baby formula product in my local grocery store with a food ingredient label that claimed 54 percent of the product was made up of corn syrup solids and 26 percent of the product consisted of assorted vegetable oils."
Even though she has been aware of this problem for years and has worked diligently to alert the consumer public to it, she applauds the findings of The Clean Label Project and the force for change that the new study represents. "While they [The Clean Label Project] have tested and found results in cat food, dog food, and now baby food, the occasion of this study now sets the stage for further widespread mainstream investigation into more of our foods. This is only good news for the consumer. The more harm that we can find in processed foods, the more safety we can demand from the food companies . . . and provide to ourselves and our families."
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