Dear Parents: Your Baby Food is Safe
On February 4, The U.S. House of Representatives released a report on the heavy metal content of baby food products available for sale in the United States. This report said that based on a 2019 product analysis, certain commercial baby foods were tainted with arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.
The Poison Centre would like to reassure you that your children are safe. Health Canada works with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to regularly monitor for these heavy metals in a range of baby foods and brands, including infant formula, purees, and cereals. Levels in Canada are low, and not expected to pose a safety concern.
Health Canada states that immediate action would be taken to protect Canadians from contaminants if levels were found to pose health risks.
If you still have concerns, here are a few things you can do:
- Consider preparing your own fruits and vegetables. Ensure these are cooked or minced, to ensure they are safe for toddlers to swallow.
- Introduce your toddler to a variety of grains. Arsenic is found naturally in soil and water, which is where rice grows. Rice is still safe to eat, but avoid using it as child’s sole carbohydrate.
- Talk to your family physician.
If you would like to speak with a poison specialist, call us toll-free at 1-800-268-9017 (Ontario), 1-855-776-4766 (Manitoba), 1-866-913-7897 (Nunavut) any time.