October 12, 2023 – Torrance, CA – Assembly Bill 899, which will help protect babies by requiring baby food manufacturers to test their products for toxic heavy metals, was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Gavin Newsom. This new law will, starting on January 1, 2025, require representative samples of baby food products sold, manufactured, or delivered in California to be tested for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury and requires those test results to be posted on the manufacturer’s website.
This first-in-the-nation legislation enacts recommendations by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. In their 2021 report on toxic heavy metals in baby foods, the Subcommittee found that “commercial baby foods are tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Exposure to toxic heavy metals causes permanent decreases in IQ, diminished future economic productivity, and increased risk of future criminal and antisocial behavior. Toxic heavy metals endanger infant neurological development and long-term brain function.”
“This new law will help protect babies by requiring baby food manufacturers to test their products for toxic heavy metals and post test results on their websites,” stated Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, the bill’s author. “By requiring this testing and reporting in California, the biggest consumer market in the nation, baby food manufacturers across the United States will hopefully take greater action to ensure their products are free of toxic heavy metals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should follow California’s lead in enacting similar national testing and reporting requirements.”
“This law fills two critical gaps in FDA’s efforts to reduce children’s dietary exposure to cadmium, lead, mercury, and inorganic arsenic to as low as possible while maintaining access to nutritious foods,” said Tom