Closer To Zero Action Plan
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an action plan called “Closer to Zero,” aiming to decrease the number of heavy metals found in baby food.
Recently, US baby food manufacturers are being investigated due to allegations that they contain a high amount of heavy metals that may have dangerous health effects.
Some of the heavy metals food in baby food were arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created the “Closer to Zero” action plan to address the issue. It aims to provide companies a limit on heavy metals that they could follow. It seeks to reduce the number of toxic metals contained in baby food.
The action plan was initially released on April 8, 2021. It includes assessing the various products to nominate an acceptable level of heavy metals, tracking if the companies follow the regulations, and implementing the plans they will determine.
The US FDA declares that they are targeting to implement the following:
- April 2022 – acceptable levels of lead
- April 2024 – good levels of arsenic
- Beyond 2024 – final rulings
The companies have not yet decided on when they plan to release acceptable levels of cadmium and mercury. They have stated that they will prioritize decreasing the toxic elements of baby food to help make them safe for consumption.
The US FDA states that they aim to reduce the number of heavy metals to as close to zero as possible. While bringing the value to zero seems impossible given that toxic elements can be present in the environment, the company believes decreasing it can significantly reduce contamination from baby food.
Heavy Metals on Baby Food
In February 2021, a congressional report revealed that most baby food sold in the US contains dangerous levels of the identified heavy metals.
Multiple class action lawsuits were filed against baby food manufacturers related to this issue, totaling over 40 cases. Companies that were charged with the lawsuit include Beech-Nut, Gerber, and Plum Organics.
The plaintiffs of these lawsuits asked a judge to consolidate them in March 2021. Children and babies exposed to heavy metals could suffer from multiple health problems, including neurodevelopmental disabilities, autism, attention deficit disorder, behavioral issues, and lower IQ.
The same month, the House of Representatives released the Baby Foot Safety Act of 2021, which mandates the FDA to set different heavy metal limits for baby foods.
Editor’s Note on FDA’s Closer to Zero Action Plan:
This article is published to inform you of the latest action plan created by FDA to address baby food heavy metal issues.
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