Report: Lead detected in baby food samples

Robin Vazquez, 31, a new mother, buys Gerber baby products at the Target store in Pasadena, Calif., Thursday, April 12, 2007. The famous Gerber Baby will change parents, with Nestle SA announcing Thursday that it will buy Gerber Products Co. for $5.5 billion, giving the world's biggest food and drink company the largest share of the global baby food market. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

 

(WFLA) — A new report released by the Environmental Defense Fund found that a surprising amount of baby food samples had detectable levels of lead.

Researchers analyzed eleven years of federal data, tested 2,164 baby food samples and found lead in roughly 20 percent of them. The toxic metal was most commonly found in grape juice samples (89 percent), sweet potatoes samples (86 percent), and teething biscuits (47 percent).

“Eight types of baby foods had detectable lead in more than 40 percent of samples. Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions,” the report says.

The study does not mention the brand of each sample.

“The levels we found were relatively low, but when you add them up — with all the foods children eat … it’s significant,” says study author Tom Neltner of the Environmental Defense Fund.

At very high levels, lead can kill developing brain cells or be fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no known safe level of lead for anyone to eat, drink or breathe in.

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