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In the News (Again) – Arsenic in Baby Food

In the News (Again) – Arsenic in Baby Food

BAL CBC Baby Food TestBrooks Applied Labs was recently mentioned in a Canadian Broadcasting Company news segment on their investigation into arsenic concentration of baby foods sold in Canada. BAL performed the testing which showed some baby foods contained inorganic arsenic above the US FDA guideline and the EU regulatory limit of 100 ppb. While minimizing exposure to this harmful element is beneficial to people of all ages, it is especially important for infants due to their smaller size and proportionally larger calorie requirements.  Our testing showed some baby foods contained inorganic arsenic above the US FDA guideline and the EU regulatory limit of 100 ppb.  Read more about the CBC Marketplace investigation here, or watch the full news program here.

Compared to other grains, rice is known to contain higher levels of the toxic and carcinogenic element arsenic.  But the arsenic concentrations and the proportion of the more harmful inorganic arsenic forms can vary widely in rice depending on a number of factors, including where the rice is grown, the growing conditions, and how it is processed after harvesting.  Quantifying the more toxic inorganic arsenic forms via speciation analysis, which Brooks Applied Labs has been performing for decades, is therefore necessary to assess arsenic-related risks due to rice consumption.

Did You See the Recent News About Heavy Metals in Baby Food?

Baby Eating FoodConsumer Reports recently published a study that evaluated the levels of certain heavy metals in 50 different baby food products. As you may recall this is a topic in which BAL has previously been involved by working with Healthy Babies Bright Futures and it continues to garner national attention. The reason for concern is simple and is stated in the Consumer Reports article, “‘Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller size and developing brains and organ systems,’ says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports.” For this reason, BAL is continuously working to be the industry leader in food testing by not applying a “one-size-fits-all” approach to various food matrices.

By evaluating the ingredients of each food and beverage product, particularly when performing speciation, BAL ensures that the correct preparation approach is chosen, and the results will be representative of what is actually being consumed. This becomes particularly important for infant and toddler foods because small inaccuracies in quantitation can be far more impactful to the long-term health and development of the children consuming these products.

If you would like to learn more about how we can assist with your food, beverage, or supplement testing needs, you can visit our webpage on this topic or Contact Us to get pricing or any other information specific to your request.

2014 Arsenic Speciation in Food Intercomparison Study

SeaweedThe report associated with the 2014 Brooks Rand Labs International Interlaboratory Comparison Study for Arsenic Speciation in Food is now available! In its second year, this study continues to be one of the largest intercomparison studies for arsenic speciation in food conducted. This report summarizes where the methods are successful at providing reproducible data and where more research and method development is needed. As demonstrated by the data, this kind of comparison study is vitally important for establishing and maintaining best practices for the arsenic speciation analyses of food and supplements. A copy of the report can be downloaded from our website. For more information or if you have questions regarding this important intercomparison study, please contact Elizabeth Madonick.

Invitation to Participate in Multi-Lab Validation

AOAC Method 2015.01, Heavy Metals in Food by ICP-MS, authored by the scientists at Brooks Applied Labs, is currently in First Action status. To complete the move to Final Action, a multi-lab validation (MLV) study is required. You are invited to participate in the MLV study for the determination of the Big 4 (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) in food by this method. The scope of the method lists food and beverage matrices including solid chocolate, fruit juice, fish, infant formula, and rice.

Anyone interested in participating in the MLV study is encouraged to contact study organizer, Rick Reba, at the Nestle Quality Assurance Center (rick.reba@us.nestle.com). Copies of the method are available on the Brooks Applied Labs and AOAC websites, or contact us directly for a copy. Please feel free to forward to any colleagues that may also have an interest.