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AGs Petition FDA on Baby Food Heavy Metal Limits

  • On October 21, 2021, a coalition of 23 Attorneys General petitioned FDA to expedite setting heavy metal standards for baby foods. The petition echoes criticism that FDA’s Closer to Zero plan does not include adequately aggressive timelines for reducing heavy metals in baby food.

  • Under FDA’s Closer to Zero plan, FDA would propose guidance on limiting lead in baby food by the middle of 2022, guidance for limiting inorganic arsenic by April 2024, and guidance for limiting cadmium and mercury after April 2024. The AG petition calls on FDA to take the following actions by April 2022:

    • Propose science-based, achievability-focused interim limits for inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in relevant categories of infant and toddler foods;

    • Propose a lower limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal than the 100 parts per billion level that is currently set forth in FDA guidance; and

    • Instruct all baby food manufacturers to test their finished products for toxic heavy metals.

  • The AG petition follows a wave of class-action lawsuits against baby food manufacturers and a congressional report  that was released in February 2021.

© 2023 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 308
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About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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