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'Worrisome’ levels of lead, arsenic in some baby foods: Consumer Reports

The Consumer Reports test found 68 percent of the baby food products it analyzed showed 'worrisome' levels of at least one heavy metal.
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A new analysis of packaged foods made for babies and toddlers found "worrisome" levels of heavy metals in two-thirds of the tested products.

Consumer Reports analyzed 50 nationally distributed baby foods checking for cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic, the type most harmful to health.

The test found 68 percent of the tested products showed “worrisome” levels of at least one heavy metal and 15 products that would pose a “potential health risk” if eaten on a daily basis.

Products containing rice and sweet potatoes were particularly likely to have high levels of heavy metals.

Even small amounts of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, lead, and mercury can be toxic for everyone and pose particular risks for young children, according to Consumer Reports.

Exposure at an early age may increase the risk of several health problems, especially lower IQ and behavior problems, and have been linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to the report.

Products labeled organic don't necessarily contain lower amounts of heavy metals, the testing found.

It is not clear if similar foods prepared at home would contain less of the metals as they enter the food chain from soil and water. Rice is known to contain higher levels of arsenic.

Here are some of the products Consumer Reports recommends restricting to less than one serving a day:

Earth's Best Organic Chicken & Brown Rice
Earth's Best Turkey, Red Beans & Brown Rice
Gerber Chicken & Rice
Gerber Turkey & Rice
Sprout Organic Baby Food Garden Vegetables Brown Rice With Turkey
Gerber Lil' Meals White Turkey Stew With Rice & Vegetables
Gerber Carrot, Pear & Blackberry
Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes
Happy Baby Organics Organic Probiotic Baby Cereal
Baby Mum-Mum Banana Rice Rusks

Check here for the full list.

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