New York officials are demanding "swift action" to protect kids from eating toxic metals found in their baby food.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is leading a multistate coalition of attorneys general that demands the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) to quickly remove toxic metals from baby food sold in New York and across the nation.

New York Demands Actions To Protect New York Children

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"(The) FDA is failing our babies,” senior vice president for government affairs, Environmental Working Group, Scott Faber said. “Every day, 10,000 babies start eating solid food, so we have no time to waste when it comes to reducing toxic metals in baby food. The FDA has already missed one deadline, even though the evidence of harm to our babies’ brains is overwhelming. EWG applauds Attorney General James and her coalition for continuing to push the FDA to make our babies a top priority.”

James says she and 22 attorneys general are responding now because of the alarming number of health issues these metals may cause.

“Babies are exquisitely sensitive to heavy metals,” pediatrician and director of Global Public Health, Boston College Dr. Philip J. Landrigan stated. “No level of metal exposure is safe for a young child, and early-life exposures to even very low levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury increase risks of brain damage, cancer, anemia, and kidney damage."

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Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury Found in New York Baby Food

Lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury have been found in baby foods, including infant cereals, purees and other products for babies and young children, aside from formula, according to James.

"No parent should have to worry about whether the food they serve their children is safe to eat,” James said. “While our federal food safety watchdogs are working to implement critical long-term solutions, there are immediate, common-sense steps they can take that would begin to drive down the levels of toxic metals in baby foods. The FDA and USDA must act now — and give parents the peace of mind they deserve in the safety of the food they feed their children.”

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Cancer-Causing Metals Found in Baby Food in New York

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The FDA has set limits on the number of toxic metals that can be found in water, juice and candy. But officials say the FDA is not doing enough to protect children from toxic metals.

The letter from the attorney generals wants the FDA to issue clear guidance for limiting toxic metals, like:

  • Propose interim limits for inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in relevant categories of infant and toddler foods;
  • Propose a lower limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal than that currently set forth in FDA guidance; and,
  • Provide guidance to all baby food manufacturers to test their finished products for toxic metals.
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"There’s simply no time to waste — and no excuse for waiting — to better protect children’s developing brains from these toxic contaminants,” Safer Chemicals at Environmental Defense Fund Senior Director Tom Neltner said.

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