The only product recalled at this time is beech nut single grain rice item (UPC code number 52200034705) which has an expiration date of 01MAY2022 and product codes 103470XXXX and 093470XXXX.
“Beech nut is concerned about the ability to consistently obtain rice flour well below the FDA guideline level and beech nut specifications for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic,” the FDA said.
In its announcement, the FDA quoted Jason Jacobs, Beech-Nuts’ vice president of food safety and quality.
“The safety of infants and children is Beech-Nut’s highest priority. We are issuing this voluntary recall because we learned through routine sampling from the state of Alaska that a limited amount of single grain beech nut products had levels of naturally occurring inorganic arsenic even above FDA guidance levels. the rice flour used to produce these products was tested below the FDA guideline level for inorganic arsenic, “Jacobs said.
A growing concern over high arsenic levels
“To our knowledge, this is the first recall of infant rice due to high arsenic levels,” said Jane Houlihan, research director at Healthy Babies Bright Futures, a consumer group studying the levels of toxic metals in baby food.
“The FDA announcement of the recall is good news,” Houlihan said. “It is so important for babies that this grain does not come on the market. We fully support the FDA’s enforcement action to help reduce arsenic exposure for these little ones who are so vulnerable.”
Krishnamoorthi said the spreadsheets from the producers were “shocking” because they showed evidence that some baby foods contain hundreds of parts per serving. Billion of dangerous metals.
“Still, we know that in many cases we should not have more than one-digit parts per. Billions of these metals in any of our foods, ”he told CNN.
Whether or not baby food was organic does not matter, the subcommittee found – levels of toxic metals were still high.
Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air, where the inorganic form is the most toxic. (“Inorganic” is a chemical term and has nothing to do with the method of breeding.)
If you think that undamaged brown or wild rice may be healthier choices, think again. They contain more arsenic than white rice because the grinding process used to create white rice removes the outer layers of the grain where much of the arsenic is concentrated.
Arsenic is a known carcinogen that can affect the risk of cardiovascular, immune and other diseases, but it is the impact on a child’s developing brain that is most worrying, experts say.
Because of these concerns, child safety advocates have been critical of the FDA’s cut-off levels for arsenic in grains, saying they are not low enough to protect infants adequately.
“In setting the level of action that drives the recall, the FDA did not consider harm to infants who developed brains, and failed to take into account children who eat more than average rice,” Houlihan said.
National dietary surveys show that Spanish infants and toddlers are 2.5 times more likely to eat rice on any given day than other children, according to Healthy Babies Bright Futures, while Asian Americans eat nearly 10 times more rice than the national average.
In addition, the group said that children diagnosed with celiac disease – an intolerance to wheat – often eat rice products instead and therefore consume about 14 times more arsenic than other children.
“The FDA should lower the allowable limit,” Houlihan said. “Meanwhile, parents have options – other types of infants have, on average, one-sixth as much arsenic as infant rice, and they are safer choices.”