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FDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food

FDA signals plan to address toxic elements in baby food
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday signaled that it intends to address toxic elements in baby foods after a congressional report found that heavy metals were present in some baby foods.

The agency said in a statement that it will “soon be putting into action a plan aimed at reducing toxic elements in foods for babies and young children to levels as low as is reasonably achievable.” 

The FDA said it intended to focus on increased inspections at facilities and boosting sampling of baby foods.

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In a letter, the agency reminded manufacturers to “consider chemical hazards that may be present in foods” when performing hazard analysis on their products. 

The announcement comes one month after the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy released a report finding that some internal company standards “permit dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals in baby food.”

Some of the foods examined contained levels of arsenic, lead and cadmium.

In a statement on Friday, Subcommittee Chairman Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiHillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure House panel investigating YouTube for advertising practices on kids' platform From one 'big house' to another: DOJ must hold the leaders of Purdue Pharma accountable MORE (D-Ill.) said the announcement “represents a welcome change at FDA. Now that we have partners in the public health agencies, it’s reason for optimism for what we can accomplish going forward."

“However, we are disappointed that FDA failed to commit to establishing concrete rules to remove toxic heavy metals from all baby foods,” he said. “It highlights the need for Congress to pass legislation with strict standards and timelines.” 

Krishnamoorthi announced on Thursday that he —along with Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLobbying world New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy Bottom line MORE (D-Minn.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthPolitical disenfranchisement is fueling environmental injustice Tammy Duckworth pressures postal service board on firing DeJoy Biden says Cabinet 'looks like America' at first meeting MORE (D-Ill.) — reached out to the agency to request guidance on what limits would be made public on toxic heavy metals in baby food.