What About the Arsenic Traces Found in Organic Baby Formula?
This video clip talks about recent research that has found traces of arsenic in organic baby formula. Detractors of organic living will undoubtedly have a field day, saying that organic food is no healthier than non-organic food. There are two main points which need to be raised here.
Firstly, the arsenic found in baby formula has been linked to organic brown rice syrup (OBRS) used as a sweetener in the formula. Why does the OBRS have arsenic traces in it? Because the soil in which the rice is grown has been contaminated with arsenic as a result of previous use of pesticides and/ or fertilisers. The rice plant absorbs what is in the soil.
This is the danger of using chemicals as part of agricultural policies and farming methods. The chemicals used on crops don’t just magically disappear after their application. They sit in the soil and are also absorbed into the water table. So in fact this situation adds to the compelling argument that synthetic and chemical pesticides and fertilisers should never be used on crops. Full stop.
It is really, really sad that people who are trying to live and eat healthily and organically are being dangerously affected by the habits and practices of those that don’t care what they do to the planet and the crops they grow.
Secondly, if you believe in the organic ethos, try to avoid using large amounts of processed foods – even baby formula. Ideally breast feed your baby. If you can’t, look for the most natural baby milk available, which should not have sweeteners in any case, organic or not. It isn’t difficult to recognise the more processed the food, the less natural it is. Having said that it isn’t always feasible to be completely natural. Although I breast fed my children, after a year I did mix bottle and breast feeding – I simply didn’t have enough milk for my growing children. I was careful about the formula I used, and made sure that it was from organic dairy herds that grazed on pesticide free pastures.
Typically the research outlined in this clip doesn’t mention brand names. For anyone who has concerns following this report, be aware that you can request an arsenic toxicity test from your hospital. This should identify whether your child has raised arsenic levels, and if so, the hospital should provide a prognosis and guidance on what the next steps are for your child.
Finally, I will close with a comment from Connie Diekman, Director of Nutrition, Washington University, who says consumers shouldn’t panic over the research results.
“As a registered dietitian, I would encourage consumers to not worry about this study, but to use it as a reminder that foods that grow in soil are growing with a wide variety of chemicals, both those found naturally in the soil and those that may be there from use of chemicals to foster growth,” she said. “Whether the amount of any one chemical is enough to worry about is still a question that needs better research.”
It is very sad that organic crops can be tainted with toxic elements from previous farming practices. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. However we live in an imperfect world. The best we can do is strive to improve our world.
Filed under: Organic Baby Products
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!