AGs Petition FDA on Baby Food Heavy Metal Limits
Thursday, November 4, 2021
  • 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.


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