March 04, 2021

Cárdenas, Krishnamoorthi, Klobuchar, Duckworth Seek Guidance from FDA on Baby Food Safety, Encourage Swift Action to Regulate its Toxic Heavy Metal Content

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reached out to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to request guidance on what regulations and limits should be made public on toxic heavy metals in baby food. The Members of Congress have drafted a bill, in consultation with leading environmental health organizations, and are requesting the FDA respond with technical guidance to strengthen the effectiveness of the legislation. Additionally, they are urging the agency to use its existing authority to regulate toxic heavy metal content in baby food to protect infant health and safety.

“Like parents all across America, I was horrified to learn that trusted baby food brands knowingly sell products containing high levels of toxic lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “I urge the FDA to use its existing authorities to take immediate regulatory action. Parents should not have to worry about whether the baby food they purchase contains dangerous toxic metals like lead and arsenic. I look forward to working with the FDA, stakeholders, and concerned moms and dads on a comprehensive solution to this problem impacting millions of American families.”

“My investigation revealed that baby food companies were not looking out for parents and young kids the way that we all expected - instead, they were knowingly selling us tainted products,” said Krishnamoorthi. “I’m proud to partner with my colleagues along with the FDA, stakeholders, and health experts across the country in developing comprehensive reforms. 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.”

“It’s unacceptable that despite parents’ best efforts to keep their children safe, some leading baby food manufacturers have put products on the market that expose children to dangerous toxins. This legislation will protect children and ensure they get a healthy start by holding manufacturers accountable for removing toxins out of infant and toddler foods. I’ll keep fighting to give parents the peace of mind they deserve,” said Klobuchar.

“Parents deserve to have peace of mind that the baby and toddler food they purchase is safe and nutritious,” said Duckworth. “Reports that many types of commonly sold baby and toddler food products may contain levels of harmful metals that pose potential risk to babies, such as arsenic and lead, are deeply concerning. I look forward to hearing from the FDA on ways we can work to solve this problem.”

This action follows publication of a groundbreaking report by the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, chaired by Rep. Krishnamoorthi, that revealed dangerously high levels of lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium in many popular baby food products. Consumption of these toxic heavy metals, even in extremely small quantities, can have lifelong impacts on a baby’s health and neurological development.

The Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy’s report can be read here.