Pesticides Still Found in U.S. Baby Food, but Less Toxic

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Baby food in the United States may still contain potentially harmful pesticides, but is less toxic than it was about 30 years ago, according to a new study by a nonprofit U.S. environmental group.

Some 38 percent of conventional, or non-organic, baby food in the United States, is found to contain toxic pesticides, said the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in its latest research released in mid-November.

“At least one pesticide residue was detected in 22 of the 58 conventional baby foods,” the EWG said.

It warned that “babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to potential health harms from consuming food that contains residues of agricultural pesticides.”

The nonprofit said it tested products from three popular brands in the United States — Beech-Nut, Gerber, and Parent’s Choice.

While the findings are alarming, the good news, according to the EWG, is that the pesticide levels in baby foods have been decreasing compared to a similar study conducted in 1995.

In the 1995 study, “an eye-popping 53 percent of 72 baby food products sampled had residue of at least one pesticide,” and the pesticides discovered were, overall, far more toxic and dangerous than the ones the latest tests uncovered, according to the EWG.

One toxic pesticide the EWG no longer found in baby food was the brain-damaging bug killer chlorpyrifos, which in very small amounts can permanently damage the health of babies and children, said the report. 

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