AG Tong joins coalition to protect children from toxic metals in baby foods
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong joined a multistate coalition demanding that the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture eliminate toxic chemicals and metals from baby food including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
Products that are raising concern are baby foods, baby formula, cereals, purées and other edible products.
“There is no room for error when it comes to the safety of baby food,” said Tong. “The Food and Drug Administration has promised to set limits on toxic metals in baby food, as they have already done in many other products, yet they have failed to meet their own deadlines.”
In April 2021, the FDA announced the “Closer to Zero” plan, which the agency committed to proposing action levels for lead. The plan’s goal included eliminating harmful materials from baby foods by April 2022, inorganic arsenic by April 2024 and cadmium and mercury after April 2024.
Since the FDA did not make any changes by April 2022, the coalition argues that the plan is behind schedule, a public health concern and will disproportionately affect children in low-income households. Lead is often located in paint and water pipes.
In a letter to the FDA, the coalition urged the federal government to adopt interim measures recommended in the coalition’s October 2021 petition. The petition requested the administration issue a clear industry guidance to limit toxic metals and poisonous materials.
The FDA has denied the petition, but the coalition has submitted a request for reconsideration.
“The FDA needs to expedite this critical work to protect infants and toddlers from unacceptable toxic exposure.” Tong said.
Attorney generals supporting Tong in the letter are from the following states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.