New Study: Arsenic in Organic Baby Formula

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You might not expect baby formula, of all things, to contain arsenic. But a Dartmouth study finds that's the case with some organic baby formulas, cereal bars, and energy shots.

So what's the culprit? LA Times says the arsenic was traced back to organic brown rice syrup.

"One sample had an arsenic concentration six times the federal limit for arsenic allowable in bottled water or drinking water. In infants, such a level could be toxic because they consume more per pound of body weight compared to adults."

Of 17 infant formulas tested, arsenic was found in two. Here's Dr. Oz talking about the potential health risks of the toxic element on the TODAY show.

Reporter: "These are organic items, little bit scary."
Dr. Oz: "They're organic but it doesn't mean there's not a natural process by which organic products absorb arsenic. Arsenic is linked to cancer, developmental delays, heart problems. Why would we want to risk it?."

But CBC says organic brown rice containing arsenic is nothing new and it might not really matter unless people are consuming large amounts.

"What we're assuming here is that yes there are higher levels of arsenic than perhaps people are comfortable with, but we're also assuming that people aren't consuming these products every day in large amounts."

But TIME points out — there are no federal guidelines regulating levels and arsenic in food. Bryan Walsh writes, although there may not be many babies consuming the high-arsenic formulas, there should still be some government regulation.

"The real lesson from the study is the need for some form of federal regulation of arsenic in food. ... Legislation was introduced earlier this month in the House of Representatives to push the FDA. It's long since time to act."

The researchers of the study say not to be concerned if you eat the occasional cereal bar, but you might want to consider switching your baby's formula if you use one with organic brown rice syrup as a main ingredient.

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