65 percent of baby products tested in study had arsenic in them

A baby holds a bottle and sits in a high chair

The Clean Label Project screened 500 infant formula and baby food products from 60 brands and found that 65 percent of them contained arsenic.

In a study released on Wednesday, Oct. 25, Clean Label Project tested baby food, toddler drinks and snacks, and infant formulas that were bought over the past five months.

The findings also suggested that baby foods today had 70 per cent more acrylamide than the average French fry, a chemical which has been linked to brain damage and reproductive challenges.

The study also found 36 percent of baby food products tested had detectable levels of lead, 58 percent had detectable levels of cadmium and 10 percent had detectable levels of acrylamides. 80% of the baby formula analyzed had levels of arsenic in the mixture.

The non-profit organization is called #Clean Label Project and advocates for product labeling transparency. Arsenic, a toxin associated with cardiovascular conditions, developmental defects, diabetes, neurotoxicity, skin lesions, and even cancer, was present in almost 80 percent of infant formulas. A report published in June that analyzed 11 years of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data found lead in 20% of baby food samples - higher than other types of food.

They concluded their findings by identifying the top and bottom five cereals, formulas, snacks, drinks and jar meals in terms of unsafe chemical contents.

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Every product tested gets a product rating of one, three or five stars.

Since it was about the foods fed to the most vulnerable population in the United States, families across the country were concerned.

Arsenic does have the potential to be toxic but, as the World Health Organization explains, it is "a natural component of the earth's crust and is widely distributed throughout the environment in the air, water and land".

The transparent labeling advocacy group said that Gerber, Enfamil, Plum Organics and Sprout - market-leading brands - produced some of the most contaminated baby foods.

Arsenic in rice cereals is not surprising. We hear words like "arsenic" and "lead" and immediately think the absolute worst.

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