Maybe you make your own baby food. Maybe you pick up a few jars every time you hit the supermarket. Here's something we can all agree on: moms deserve the right to know what their baby is eating. Only a bunch of baby food makers disagree; they want to keep a lead warning off the side of their eats.
Yes, I said lead. In baby food.
Apparently Gerber Products, Del Monte Foods, Beech-Nut Nutrition, and several other companies are facing a lawsuit launched by the Environmental Law Foundation, a California-based nonprofit organization.
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The suit claims the companies are selling baby food and juices with lead at levels that require warning labels under California law. The companies' attorney has countered that the lead in every product is "naturally occurring" (rather than an additive) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration show the levels fall below the legal safety standards ... so they don't really HAVE TO disclose.
Who's right we won't know until the lawsuit shakes out.
But after having to put my kid through all those state-mandated lead tests and reading up on all the scary things that this "naturally occurring" health hazard, I have to say I hope they get their warnings.
The issue to me isn't how much lead is in the baby food or even how it got there. It's how much information parents deserve about the food we're buying.
In a perfect world, we'd all be able to make our own baby food. But that doesn't work for every mom (or dad). Some of us have to go the jar route, and we want to know what's in there.
We should be able to see the warning and then make decision about the risk ourselves, not have companies do it for us. It's called making an informed decision, something that can only be done with all the information available.
The companies might want to give moms a little credit. I'm betting some parents will decide that lead content that falls under the FDA-approved level is OK by them. Others may not, but they'll respect the companies a lot more for being open and honest.
Would you buy baby food with a lead warning on the side?
Image via Fred_V/Flickr