Report finds lead in surprising number of baby food samples

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 07:28:37-04

CINCINNATI -- A recent report found lead in many samples of food tested.

Lead was detected in 20 percent of baby food samples analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration between 2003 and 2013, according to the new report from the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group.

It's surprising to many parents.

"As parents, you try to make the most conscientious efforts to keep your kids healthy," mom Kathy Hamilton said.

New mom Kenda Dunahugh said she was thinking about making her own baby food at home.

The report found lead was most commonly in fruit juice, root vegetables and cookies; 89 percent of grape juice samples contained detectable levels of lead, as did 67 percent of mixed fruit samples, 55 percent of apple and 45 percent of pear.

Eighty-six percent of sweet potatoes contained detectable levels of lead, as did 43 percent of carrts.

Sixty-four percent of arrowroot cookies had detectable levels of lead, as did 47 percent of teething biscuits.

Lead is a concern because it can impact the brain. Dr. Nicholas Newman with the Environmental Health and Lead Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center said there's no acceptable amount of lead for children.

Some wonder if tainted soil is the culprit.

"The outside of the carrot is going to get some of the lead on it," Newman said. "And, the same thing for sweet potatoes and anything that grows in the ground."

Newman said he hopes the report will make reducing lead in baby food a priority.

Click here for more information and the full report.