Twenty AGs Sent Letter Urging FDA to Address Heavy Metals in Baby Food

New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in sending a letter asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address lead and other toxic heavy metals in baby food following widespread reports of lead contamination in applesauce pouches for children, leading to almost 400 identified lead poisoning cases in children across the country. In their letter, the AGs urged FDA to adopt the recommendations from two petitions and a letter that AGs had previously sent to FDA and the Department of Agriculture in 2021 and 2022. Specifically, the AGs asked FDA to require baby food manufacturers to test their products for heavy metals, including lead—a practice that is currently only done at manufacturers’ discretion, despite the fact that there is no safe level of exposure to toxic metals for children. The AGs also emphasized the importance of protecting children in low-income communities and communities of color, who already face disproportionate levels of exposure to heavy metals and other environmental and health hazards. FDA had previously committed to deadlines for setting limits on certain heavy metals in baby food, but later removed those deadlines from its website.