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Beech nut remembers grain from baby rice after finding high arsenic levels and leaves the market

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

The FDA first proposed the limit for arsenic in infant rice semen in 201
6, as studies showed that nearly half (47%) of infant rice grains taken from retail stores in 2014 contained 100 parts per serving. Mia. Arsenic or more. The Agency completed the border in August 2020.
New FDA limits on arsenic levels in infant cereals do not protect children enough, critics say

“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.

In 2019, Healthy Babies Bright Futures found that four out of seven infants they tested had arsenic above 100 parts per day. Mia.

“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.”

Tightening restrictions

In March of this year, the FDA told all baby food manufacturers that they should consider toxic chemicals when testing their baby food for potential hazards.
The agency’s action came a month after a congressional inquiry found that several baby food manufacturers were deliberately selling baby food that contained high levels of toxic heavy metals.
A congressional study found that leading baby food manufacturers deliberately produced products with high levels of toxic metals
The congressional inquiry examined internal documents provided by four leading baby food manufacturers: Gerber; Beech-Nut Nutrition Company; Nurture, Inc., which sells Happy Baby products; and Hain Celestial Group, Inc., which sells the Earth’s best organic baby food.
“Dangerous levels of toxic metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury are found in baby food at levels that exceed what experts and governing bodies say are allowed,” the Democratic Rep said. Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois to CNN when the report was released. Krishnamoorthi is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, which conducted the survey signed by Democrats.

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.

At the time, Gerber, Beech-Nut, Nurture and Hain all told CNN that they implement strict test and quality standards for the products they sell.

Arsenic hazards

Plastic chemicals damage babies' brains and should be banned immediately, says the expert group

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.)

Because rice is grown in water, it is particularly good at absorbing inorganic arsenic and, according to the FDA, has the highest concentration of any food.
Concentrations of arsenic were twice as high in the urine of infants who ate white or brown rice than those who did not eat rice, according to a 2016 study. Arsenic levels were highest in babies who ate rice grains, often given several times a day to introduce babies to solids.

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.

You can also not rely on organic foods. A 2012 study showed that brown rice syrup, a frequent sweetener in organic foods, was also a source of significant levels of arsenic. An “organic” milk formula marketed to toddlers had levels of inorganic arsenic that were six times the levels currently considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
'Consider chemical hazards' in the baby foods you sell, warns FDA manufacturers

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.

A 2004 study examined children in Bangladesh who were exposed to arsenic in drinking water, and it showed that they scored significantly lower on intellectual tests.
A meta-analysis of studies on the subject showed that a 50% increase in arsenic levels in urine would be associated with a 0.4 point decrease in IQ in children between 5 and 15 years of age.
Other studies have looked at how inorganic arsenic exposure during pregnancy can alter a baby’s immune system. A 2013 study of arsenic levels in pregnant women who ate rice products showed that even low levels of exposure to inorganic arsenic in the womb were related to infant respiratory infections in the first four months of life. Babies exposed to the highest levels were associated with severe infections that needed antibiotics to resolve.

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.”

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