Arsenic in Baby Formula?

Arsenic rice syrup baby formulaFirst there were concerns about BPA in baby bottles. Then, worries shifted to fire retardant chemicals and other potential carcinogens in baby products. Now the focus has moved toward arsenic in baby formula.

Discussed in the Huffington Post, a Dartmouth College study found increased levels of arsenic in foods sweetened with rice syrup, baby formula being one of them. Rice syrup, in these instances, originates domestically. Rice is presently grown on land once reserved for cotton. As environmentally-conscious parents know, conventional cotton is sprayed with a laundry list of pesticides, with arsenic included. Although the cotton is since gone, the arsenic remains in the topsoil, allowing the rice crop to absorb it.

The USDA is presently conducting research for reducing levels of arsenic in domestic rice crops.

In response, the USA Rice Federation issued a statement, declaring the arsenic in their product contributes only a small amount to the total from a human’s diet. They go onto explain that arsenic is a naturally-occurring substance that has been in foods for years and that the type in rice is organic. Arsenic, they add, is in water meeting FDA standards but is inorganic – more harmful than the naturally-occurring compound.

When it comes to your baby, whose argument do you buy? The USA Rice Federation, who possibly is downplaying the effects of arsenic to save their product, or the Dartmouth College study, which could be creating unnecessary hysteria?

In terms of baby formula, the Huffington Post points out, most brands are not made with rice syrup. Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Toddler Formula and Baby’s Only Organic Soy Toddler Formula do, however. Nevertheless, a baby’s health shouldn’t be put at risk, and to avoid any products with rice syrup, organic or otherwise, read all ingredients before purchasing.

 

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