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Are there dangerous levels of Heavy metals in any imported baby foods?

Ignore the silly title and introduction

This refers to a study done in the US concerning heavy metal contamination in baby foods. Does anyone know whether a similar investigation has been done in Australia and, if so, what the results are?

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The short answer is yes. A similar investigations, but not for baby food specifically, was done in 2015 by Food Standards ANZ Survey of tinned fruits for tin, lead and arsenic .
Their summary of findings are:

Are the small amounts of lead and tin found harmful?

No. The levels found in the FSANZ survey were well below the Maximum Level (ML) specified for lead and tin in the Food Standards Code. The MLs for metal contaminants are set to protect public health and safety and as low as practical based on sound production and natural resource management practices.

The results of this survey are also consistent with the Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS). which regularly tests Australian foods for levels of metals including lead, arsenic and tin, and has not identified safety concerns for consumers.

Download the survey (pdf 84kb) | (word 97kb)

There were lots of references for America, but I could not find any references specific to ‘heavy metal contamination of baby food’ in Australia.

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Relying on a (conspiracy) YouTube Video is fraught with danger as there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. One needs to look at reliable sources directly, rather than the views of a video blogger.

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I thought that too when I watched the first 30 seconds of the video, but when I searched I found
Oversight Subcommittee Staff Report Reveals Top Baby Foods Contain Dangerous Levels of Toxic Heavy Metals
and the FDA response to that
FDA Response to Questions About Levels of Toxic Elements in Baby Food, Following Congressional Report
The claim was also widely reported through reputable new agencies in the US, so I thought I might be worth looking in to.

I then found relevant studies in google scholar, so there appears to be some validity to the claim.

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That is all I got through before switching off.

They seem to be products available in the US…which may not have much relevance to Australia unless the products and ingredients are from the same origin. There isn’t any information that it is a potential problem in Australia. A suggestion may be if one is worried, to not purchase baby/infant foods from the US or those made in foreign countries.

Even better, make your own from fresh ingredients.

Choice has covered some aspects of baby foods in the past as well…


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PHB: this is why I said ignore the title and the introduction. This is a legitimate and serious channel.

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Maybe for limited products sold in the US, but in Australia, its relevance may be very limited and more for interest only.

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The asking of the question here for us has merit. The results however may be very different here to those in the US or indeed many other Countries.

The 2015 investigation linked by @meltam in his post above Are there dangerous levels of Heavy metals in baby foods hopefully has covered all food including the Baby Food industry here. As @phb points out the risk when buying product produced elsewhere may have greater risk, I don’t know which ones are produced elsewhere and perhaps this could be expanded in the Topic to list them.

This also raises the issue of inspection of goods when imported to ensure compliance with FSANZ code standards. Is it thorough enough when goods are being canned in overseas facilities, not just Baby Food products?

The summary from the investigation raises some concern in that it may have concentrated only on Australian product noting that “The results of this survey are also consistent with the Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS). which regularly tests Australian foods for levels”. How much canned product is now imported and sold, and I again ask how well is it tested?

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