The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday proposed significant limits on lead level. In processed baby food that could reduce exposure to the contaminant by up to 27%.
The new draft guidelines apply to packaged foods — items sold in jars, pouches. Tubs and boxes — for infants and children under 2 years of age. It would limit lead concentrations to 10 parts per billion in fruit. Vegetable and yogurt products, and 20 parts per billion for dry cereals. And single-ingredient root vegetable products, such as mashed potatoes.
As crops take up nutrients from the soil and environment, they. Also take up contaminants like lead, the FDA said in its announcement.
“While it is not possible to completely remove these elements from the food supply. We hope that the proposed action levels will force manufacturers. To implement agricultural and processing measures to reduce lead levels,” the announcement said.
The FDA estimates that the new limits could reduce lead exposure from processed baby foods by 24% to 27%.
Exposure to high levels of can cause brain damage. And other problems, especially in young children.
“Neurological effects of lead exposure during early childhood include learning disabilities. ehavioral difficulties, and reduced IQ,” the FDA’s draft guidance says. Aecause lead can accumulate in the body, and even low-level chronic exposure can be dangerous over time.”
The proposed limit will not be binding. Rather, the FDA said, it will “consider these actions. In addition to other factors when considering whether. To bring enforcement action” against a food manufacturer that exceeds the limit.
Before finalizing the proposed guidelines, there will be a 60-day public comment period.