Democrats push FDA to regulate toxic metals in baby food after investigation finds high levels


Top Democrats are pushing the FDA to regulate toxic metals in baby food after a congressional investigation discovered the presence of metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels far higher than those allowed in bottled water and other products.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., as well as Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., and Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., told CNBC that they are urging the regulatory agency to place limits on toxic heavy metal content in baby food.

The Food and Drug Administration does not currently set limits on heavy metals for baby foods, specifically, except for arsenic in rice cereal. The agency does regulate other toxins in consumer products such as lead, arsenic and cadmium in bottled water.

The four Democrats said Thursday they have drafted legislation that would strengthen regulations for baby food safety and have sent it to FDA staff for technical review. But the lawmakers want the FDA to use their existing regulatory authority to take immediate action.

“Through our legislation and FDA regulatory action, we will ensure that the baby foods that reach the market are safe and that our children are safe,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement. “I’m proud to partner with my colleagues along with the FDA, stakeholders, and health experts across the country in developing comprehensive reforms.”

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CNBC, 4 March 2021