Arsenic In Baby Formula
February 16, 2012 by staff
Arsenic In Baby Formula, Arsenic has been found in some foods that use organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener, including infant formula and cereal bars, according to a new study by researchers at Dartmouth College.
The majority of the detected arsenic, a contaminant often found in rice, was the type that is known to be a human carcinogen.
Findings of the study, published online Feb. 16 by the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives include:
Two of 17 infant formulas tested listed organic brown rice syrup as the primary ingredient. One had a total arsenic concentration that was six times the federal limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for total arsenic in bottled or public drinking water. This is particularly worrisome for babies because they are especially vulnerable to arsenic’s toxic effects due to their small size and the corresponding arsenic consumption per pound of body weight.
Twenty-two of 29 cereal bars or energy bars tested listed at least one of these four rice products — organic brown rice syrup, rice flour, rice grain or rice flakes — among the top five ingredients. The seven other bars were among the lowest in total arsenic, ranging from 8 to 27 ppb, while those containing syrup or other forms of rice ranged from 23 to 128 ppb.
Tests of high-energy products known as “energy shots” that are used by endurance athletes and others showed that one of the three gel-like blocks contained 84 ppb of total arsenic, while the other two contained 171 ppb.
The Dartmouth researchers conclude that given the increasing prevalence of hidden arsenic in food, “there is an urgent need for regulatory limits on As (arsenic) in food.”
They also cited Consumer Reports’ recent investigation, which found elevated levels of arsenic in apple and grape juices, as further evidence that U.S. consumers are being exposed to worrisome concentrations of arsenic in foods and beverages.
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