When we picture baby food, arsenic isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what consumers of organic baby food might be getting with their purchase, reported a new study from Dartmouth University.
The findings show that because organic brown rice syrup is often used as a replacement for high-fructose corn syrup in organic foods, levels of inorganic arsenic can be elevated to dangerous levels. Rice absorbs arsenic from the soil – though different varieties of rice have different levels of porousness, brown rice often has particularly high levels of arsenic inclusion.
The study, detailed in an article by MSNBC, focuses largely on the levels of the dangerous chemical in organic baby foods, though high levels of arsenic were also found to be present in organic adult foods. Though experts are divided over whether or not there are risks from organic arsenic, research has linked inorganic arsenic to various types of cancer.
The study compared the arsenic levels in foods to acceptable standards for arsenic in drinking water; although the risk factors from arsenic-laced drinking water are based on a lifetime of exposure, the study’s lead author, Brian Jackson, said that infant formulas with high arsenic levels are more of a concern because “it’s probably not a good thing for an infant to be exposed to those levels of arsenic.”
According to MSNBC, the study tested a number of different kinds of organic foods, including 17 infant formulas; of those, two formulas contained arsenic levels 20 times higher than the other formulas made without organic brown rice syrup, and one of the infant formulas tested contained twice the inorganic arsenic allowed in drinking water, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards.
The report didn’t list the specific brands of products found to be high in arsenic, but our Chicago personal injury lawyers want consumers to be safe. Ingestion of arsenic has been linked to a number of types of cancer and developmental defects. Researchers are especially concerned about the infant formulas in light of the fact that the EPA standards for drinking water are set not for infants, but for full grown adults, so the impact of these levels of arsenic might be far greater, reported MSNBC. These effects may be exacerbated for some babies who are getting formula as their sole source of nutrition.
Illinois product liability law requires that when corporations put a product on the market, they are responsible for ensuring that the product is safe for consumer use. This is especially true for food manufacturers whose merchandise has to be thoroughly inspected before it is distributed to the public, and for baby food manufacturers whose products may have a significant impact on children’s development. When dangerous or poisonous foods harm consumers, the corporations may be liable for the injuries caused and may be legally responsible for damages caused by those injuries. This may give rise to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.
Just as importantly, Illinois products liability lawsuits also serve to ensure that defective products were removed from the market and prevented from causing any further pain, suffering, and damage to consumers. If you or a loved one have had an incident with a product that caused an injury, or if you are the survivor of someone who may have died from the use or exposure to a dangerous or defective product, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law.