US proposes limits on lead in processed baby food

WASHINGTON (Reuters): The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday proposed significant limits on levels of lead in processed baby food that could reduce exposure to the contaminant by as much as 27%.

The health regulator’s new draft guidance applies to packaged foods intended for babies and children under two years of age.

“Although it is not possible to remove these elements entirely from the food supply, we expect that the recommended action levels will cause manufacturers to implement agricultural and processing measures to lower lead levels,” the FDA said.

High levels of lead exposure can cause brain damage and other problems, particularly in young children. The FDA estimates the new limits could cut lead exposure by 24-27% from processed baby foods.