A recent report issued by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy has spurred the FDA to update baby food regulations.
According to the FDA, this report raised important questions on how it can better regulate the baby food supply to reduce toxic elements. Even in minimal amounts, certain elements can be very harmful to children as they develop and grow, which is why the FDA is working to better monitor baby food in the U.S.
Read on to learn more about these recent changes and how the FDA is taking action to protect children from toxic substances in baby food.
What Changes Are Happening in the Baby Food Industry?
A committee from the U.S. House of Representatives issued a Congressional report showing that toxic heavy metals in baby food are a “pervasive problem.” These potentially poisonous elements included arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.
It’s important to note that many foods contain trace amounts of these elements, as some are present naturally in the soil. However, the Congressional report found that many top brands of baby food are tainted with unacceptable levels of heavy metals. The report also found that many baby food manufacturers only tested their ingredients – and not the finished product – for heavy metals.
This lack of oversight is concerning because infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of these metals as their brains and bodies develop. Research has shown that exposure to these elements can cause and contribute to various health issues for children.
Because of this Congressional report, the FDA has recently announced that it is taking action to reduce toxic elements in baby food. Below is a summary of the proposed changes.
How Is the FDA Taking Action to Regulate the Production of Baby Food?
In a statement released March 5, 2021, the FDA announced that it was taking several steps to regulate baby food production and reduce the risk of exposure to toxic elements, including cadmium, mercury, lead, and arsenic.
- Guidance on action levels for contaminants: First, the FDA has issued new guidance on action levels for contaminants in baby foods, which manufacturers must follow when creating food for babies and young children.
- Increased inspections, compliance, and enforcement actions: The FDA has pledged to step up its inspection efforts, as well as compliance and enforcement actions, and rely less on internal manufacturer standards and inspections.
- Boosting baby food testing and sampling: New requirements for the sampling of baby food will help eliminate loopholes. Officials will also share test results and ensure that any issues are corrected.
- Investing in further research on the safety of toxic elements: The FDA announced that it will partner with agencies, academia, and industry leaders to learn more about minimizing the toxic elements found in baby food.
ImEPIK Can Help with Food Safety Training Courses for Every Industry
Those who manufacture food for babies and young children can benefit from following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and by having a properly-trained PCQI (Preventive Controls Qualified Individual) on staff.
At ImEPIK, we’re here to help. Our food safety courses help ensure that your facility complies with all food safety laws and regulations, ensuring you can continue to make safe food for every industry – including baby food.
Contact us via our webchat or call us at 866-318-9855 to learn more about our interactive 100% online cannabis safety training.