This past Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chose to release a draft version of a guideline about the levels of lead found in a number of different baby and children’s food products.
The guidance has been laid out for food which are meant to be given to both infants and young kids below the age of two and that is processed, like those that are served from certain types of packs, explained the agency.
The action levels from the FDA have been stated to be 10 parts per billion for specific products, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as mixed, meats which are a total of one ingredient, yogurts, and puddings or custards. For things such as root vegetables which include a single ingredient, the levels are set a bit higher at 20 parts ber billion, and when it comes to dry cereals the level sits at 20 parts per billion.
“For more than 30 years, the FDA has been working to reduce exposure to lead, and other environmental contaminants, from foods. This work has resulted in a dramatic decline in lead exposure from foods since the mid-1980s,” explained FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf.
“For babies and young children who eat the foods covered in today’s draft guidance, the FDA estimates that these action levels could result in as much as a 24-27% reduction in exposure to lead from these foods,” stated Califf.
When choosing the listed levels, the agency elected to take into account, along with other items, the total amount of lead that could be discovered in any food item with no exposure from consuming it surpassing the Interim Reference Level from the agency. It also highlights that produce and grains naturally take in all nutrients, but they can also bring on harmful materials.
The agency expressed that these guidelines are not at all binding, but it would take such levels into consideration, along with a number of other items, when thinking about whether or not to “bring enforcement action” in various situations. It also thinks that the recommendations will push the manufacturers of these products to make sure the total level of lead in their items is far below the currently set action levels.
“The action levels in today’s draft guidance are not intended to direct consumers in making food choices. To support child growth and development, we recommend parents and caregivers feed children a varied and nutrient-dense diet across and within the main food groups of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and protein foods,” explained the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition director Susan Mayne.
“This approach helps your children get important nutrients and may reduce potential harmful effects from exposure to contaminants from foods that take up contaminants from the environment” concluded Mayne.