Arsenic Levels in Baby Cereal and Drinking Water

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

arsenic levels, baby food, baby cereal

Photo courtesy of Bellamys Organic

  • What you need to know about arsenic levels in baby cereal and drinking water: Since arsenic occurs naturally in groundwater in many places around the globe, it obviously ends up in our food supply as well. While acute toxicity of arsenic has been known for a long time, the health effects of low levels of arsenic are not well understood. Arsenic comes in two forms- organic and inorganic. Organic arsenic is found in seafood and is bound to carbon. Research indicates that it’s far less toxic than inorganic arsenic. Inorganic arsenic is soluble in water, and though plant roots it ends up in our food. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no standard for arsenic in rice or rice-containing products. However, based on recent concerns, FDA has proposed an action level of 100 parts per billion (ppb) for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal. The FDA found that about half of the rice-based products for infants and young children tested above the proposed 100 ppb level. And since rice cereals are often recommended as baby’s first solid food, minimizing arsenic in this food is a clear priority. Other foods that have been found to contain significant amounts of arsenic include apple and pear fruit juices. Read more details in the original article by EcoWatch.
  •  Two major yogurt makers to use only non-GMO produced milk:  Company Dannon, the nation’s leading yogurt maker, has recently announced, that its three main yogurt brands including Dannon, Oikos and Danimals, will start using solely natural ingredients excluding all synthetic and GMO-based ones. Since these brands represent about 50 percent of the company’s current volume, it’s a significant move in its production. Starting in 2017 and completing the transformation by the end of 2018, Dannon will work with its farmer partners to guarantee that all milk supply for Dannon’s yogurts will come from non-GMO feed. This is the first such change for a leading non-organic yogurt maker. According to The New York Times, Dannon will create a direct pipeline to some farms supplying the milk. The company will also establish a new supply system, where the farmers in the program must follow Dannon-dictated animal welfare standards and work to improve and conserve soil on their farms.
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